Student Workshops

These workshops are provided as an additional educational experience for students and faculty. Students can earn points towards their CDS certificate by attending a combination of morning and afternoon sessions.

Registration is $18 per person and includes lunch. Workshops run independently of the competitive events, and participation in these workshops is not required to compete in the events. Participation is limited due to space constraints, please register early.

Download Workshop Schedule

Workshop Topics

Arboriculture Workshop

Sponsored by: Husqvarna and Bartlett Tree Experts
The Arboriculture Workshop has expanded and now includes 2 tracks, with 4 total sessions.  
The Arboriculture – Classroom workshop will be offered in the morning and afternoon.  The Arboriculture – Hands-On workshop will also be offered in the morning and afternoon.  Attendees do not have to attend both tracks, nor do the sessions have to be taken in any particular order.

Arboriculture – Classroom: Lessons from a lifetime in trees
Sponsored by Husqvarna

During this workshop, we'll discuss the tools and techniques used and required to work safely aloft
  • Tree dynamics and work factors
  • OSHA and ANSI requirements
  • Specialized climbing equipment and techniques
  • Chainsaw safety and field maintenance

Arboriculture – Hands-On
Sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts

During this workshop, students will be introduced to the following aspects of tree climbing:

  • Basic Climbing equipment identification, use, care, and safety
  • How to inspect, maintain, and store Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • How to conduct a pre-climb tree inspection
  • Basic techniques for safe and efficient ascent and decent
  • Limb walking techniques
  • Throwline techniques and rope installation
  • Advanced climbing techniques demonstration

Students that are interested in climbing during the Arboriculture- Hands-On workshop must bring their own climbing gear (saddles and climbing lines) and personal protective equipment (hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, etc.) and wear appropriate climbing shoes and attire.

Irrigation I & II Workshops

Sponsored by: Hunter Industries and American Society of Irrigation Consultants

Irrigation 101: Irrigation Hands-on
     •  3 groups, with 45 minutes per each session 
     •  Indoor Product Instruction – Product ID, installation techniques and some basic troubleshooting
     •  Outside Installation Demonstration – How to read a plan, a legend, and install the components. Groups of two.
     •  Outside Troubleshooting – Basic and intermediate troubleshooting of electrical, valves and hydraulics

Irrigation 201: Principles of Design 
     •  Principles of design to include basic hydraulics, layouts of zones, pipe sizing, and product selection

Landscape Lighting Workshop

Sponsored by: FX Luminaire
**The morning and afternoon sessions are each limited to 25 students. Max 2 students per school, per session. First come, first served.
As of 02/21/2020, the AM Landscape Lighting session is full.

During this workshop, we will be exploring many avenues in landscape lighting. A few, but not all, include the following:
     •  Electrical -terms, Ohms Law, voltage drop calculations
     •  Products - Transformers and Fixture selection
     •  Installation “hands-on”- wire selection, wire splices, wiring techniques, fixture placement, transformer installation and timing mechanisms
     •  Design - basic design description with “do’s and don’ts”
     •  Maintenance - maintaining a lighting system
     •  Value to the property “Why Lighting”

Truck and Trailer and Mower Operating Safety Procedures

Sponsored by: Gravely 

General introduction of the safe operation of a truck and trailer, securing trailer loads, commercial zero turn mower operation and a generic intro into DOT rules and regulations. Personal safety will also be reviewed pertaining to personal protective wear such as ear plugs, eyewear, clothing, gloves, skin protectant, etc. Fun and engaging opportunity within a classroom and hands on field training.

Sales Presentation Workshop

Sponsored by: Gravely

In this workshop students will be introduced to the sales cycle with a strong focus on how to listen by asking the right questions. While presenting a formal sales process, JW Washington—Director of Business Development, Ariens Company, shares 19+ years of sales management dos and don’ts providing attendees a usable road map from prospect to a successfully closed sale. Learning is fast paced for the student and focuses on immediately applicable core competencies with learnings for continued long term development.

Construction Cost Estimating Workshop

Sponsored by: Environmental Management, Inc.

Review of general techniques to understand how to cost estimate.
     •  Basic Plan Review- understanding plans/how to read a plan (plan review/PowerPoint)
     •  Basics of Estimating- quantity take offs/formulas/general procedures (exercise to be handed out)
     •  Conversion of information and assigning costs (exercise to be handed out)

*Students will need to bring an architects and engineer’s scale and calculator.

Maintenance Estimating Workshop

Sponsored by: LandCare

During the 75 minute workshop, offered twice, we will be discussing in depth the following aspects of estimating maintenance contracts:
     •  Quantitative measurements
     •  Use of measuring software GoiLawn
     •  Production factors
     •  Direct cost, Indirect cost and Profit
     •  Discovery with client
     •  Production reviews
     •  Use of estimating software Aspire

Green Roofs: Taking the Landscape to the Roof

Sponsored by: Michigan State University

Green roofs can provide numerous environmental and economic benefits to an individual building owner, its inhabitants, and to the community at large. Learn about the various types of green roofs, how they are constructed, what plant species are suitable, how green roofs impact the environment, and how all of these factors influence ongoing maintenance.

Hardscape Installation Workshop

Sponsored by: Anchor Wall Systems

The classroom will introduce students to the hardscape industry including the history of interlocking pavers and retaining walls. Also, the components involved in creating a long lasting project, things to consider when looking to start a hardscape business and a brief overview on construction of walls and pavers. The outdoor portion will focus on demonstrating some of the tips for installation of walls and pavers as well as some good construction techniques.

Plant Problem Diagnosis

Sponsored: by Bartlett Tree Experts

**This session is limited to 30 students. Max 2 students per school. First come, first served.

As of 02/03/2020, this session is full.

Spots, Rots, and Knots, Oh My! –How to diagnose plant disease, insect, and abiotic problems.

Compact Track/Skid Steer Loader Operation 

Sponsored by: Caterpillar Inc.

The Compact Track/Skid Steer Loader Operation workshop will introduce and expand upon student/faculty current knowledge of this type of equipment within the industry.
During this workshop, we will discuss the following topics:

     •  Basic machine applications and usage
     •  What makes a skid steer loader a "Swiss Army knife" within the industry
     •  How to maximize machine utilization
     •  Overview of available solutions, in terms of machine size and attachments
     •  Understanding how to select the appropriate machine and tool

Snow & Ice Management: When Green Turns to White

Sponsored by: WIT Advisors

When you become a landscape professional working in snow belt regions of the country, the logistics of performing snow and ice management services are sometimes more challenging than performing landscape services. Take a 360-degree tour through the 12 months of planning a performing winter management services, and how they incorporate into a typical landscape business.

Sustainable Fertilizer Use

Sponsored by: Ewing Irrigation Products, Inc. and Tarrant County College

Managing healthy, attractive landscapes from trees to turf; requires proper soil pH management and fertilization practices.  Learn how to read and interpret fertilizer labels to achieve optimal nutrition for good plant health without negative impact on the surrounding environment.  Work in harmony with key soil nutrient cycles to prevent nutrient overload, for good environmental stewardship.  

Technology Evolution Workshop

Sponsored by: The Toro Company

Labor shortages and an emphasis on productivity and efficiency is creating a rapid technology shift within the green industry. In this seminar, students will learn how technology is reshaping the industry while also improving the sustainability of their operations as landscape managers. Specific focus will be placed on connected product technologies, water conservation strategies and software as a service management tools. Knowledge gained in this session will provide students a lens into where the industry is headed and how best to leverage the technology shift to better differentiate themselves in a rapidly expanding industry.

FAST: Fuel, Air, Spark and Timing

Sponsored by: Kawasaki Motors Corp.

Are you ready to get your hands on 4 stroke engines and find out what it takes to make an engine run?  See and touch various parts of an engine and understand how they all work in sync to power your equipment.  You will learn the mechanics of an engine, how a carburetor works and how engines are evolving to fuel injection and greater productivity.