Now Open to the General Public!

The 2019 Garden Conference is open to all Master Gardeners, Gardeners, Green Industry Professionals and Consumers.

When: Our Georgia Master Gardener Conference will be held on October 19, 2019

Where: The Museum of Aviation Century of Flight Building, Warner Robins, Georgia.

Who: The 2019 Garden Conference is open to all Master Gardeners, Gardeners, Green Industry Professionals and Consumers. Master Gardeners and Industry Professionals can receive educational credits.

Our Conference Speakers include:

Michael A. Dirr, professor emeritus, horticulture, University of Georgia, is widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts on trees and shrubs for landscapes and gardens. He holds BS and MS degrees in horticulture from The Ohio State University and the Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. Dirr has introduced over 200 woody plants to cultivation and holds 29 patents with the UGA Research Foundation. With two partners, he established Plant Introductions, Inc., a breeding and introduction company in 2006, selling it to Bailey Nurseries in 2015. Dirr continues to work in lockstep with the American nursery industry to introduce and promote new trees and shrubs.

Professor of Tree Biology and Health Care, and Hill Fellow for Distinguished Public Service and Outreach, at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA. He has degrees from Iowa State University in forestry, tree biology, and forest ecology. Dr. Coder was elected world President of the International Society of Arboriculture, and served as President of the Southern Chapter of ISA, the international Arboriculture Research & Education Academy (AREA), and the Georgia Urban Forest Council. He was appointed to the USDA-Secretary’s NUCFAC, advising on community forestry issues. Dr. Coder is author of over 500 technical publications and articles. He is an international lecturer and consultant to private citizens, corporations, attorneys, and communities on tree health care, tree anatomy, abiotic tree stress, lightning & tree protection, storm damage, biomechanics, and community forest ecology.

Mary Lynne Beckley has been the Executive Director of the Georgia Urban Forest Council since 2005. Her mission is to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by partnering with organizations, individuals and communities.

Matt and Tim Nichols are the co-owners of and Their nursery is located in East Flat Rock, NC. While most of their business is online sales, a visit to the nursery can be scheduled. Both brothers are accomplished grafters and work to continuously improve their process. They travel extensively for research. Matt and Tim have lectured at universities around the south. They have presented their academic article on Japanese Maple Propagation to the Southern Region of the International Plant Propagator’s Society.

Mark Maher has worked in the horticultural industry for over 30 years. He has a degree in Landscape Management from UGA and is a Certified Landscape Professional. He worked at Pike Nursery for15 years and is now in sales for Flowerwood Nursery a wholesale nursery and grower of such brands and the Encore Azaleas and the Southern Living Plant Collection.

Sheri Dorn joined University of Georgia’s Department of Horticulture as Extension Horticulturist for Consumer Ornamentals and Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program Coordinator in June 2012. Sheri fully appreciates Master Gardener Extension volunteers and their role as education partners with Extension, having worked with MGEVs in her position as a former state coordinator for the Virginia Master Gardener Volunteer Program (1996-1999) and as an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Roanoke, Virginia (2008-2012). Additionally, Sheri brings to her UGA roles nearly ten years of industry experience, having co-owned a small retail nursery and landscape contracting firm (1999-2008). Sheri’s research centers on the relationship between people and plants, particularly the capacity of horticulture to expand communities through volunteerism.

The tours this year will be free and include:

  • Friday, October 18th

    • the“Native Plant Garden”at the Museum of Arts and Science

    • “Connect to ProtectGarden”at the Rosehill Historic Cemetery

  • Sunday, October 20th

    • Massee Lane Gardens in Ft. Valley, Georgia, adesignated International Camellia Society’s “Garden of Excellence”. Massee Lane Gardens has one of the world’s finest collections of camellias spread out on a nine-acre trek with brick walkways around the trees for easy viewing.

    • In Elko, Georgia, tour owner of “Royal Gardens” Ms.Royal will be on hand to answer questions about the gardens during the self-guided tour between the hours of 9am to 2pm. This garden furnishes flowers to the local florist and to the Perry Farmers Market. Come join us for a great conference and a taste of Southern hospitality! 

October 19 Schedule

  • 8:30 Presentation of the Colors - Military Honor Guard

  • 8:40 Good morning and Welcome - Larry Julian, M.C.

  • 8:40 Welcome to Warmer Robins- Mayor Randy Toms.

  • 8:50 GMGA Direction - President George Jeburk

  • 9:10 Connecting to the Future - UGA Sheri Dorn

  • 9:30 Georgia's Landmark and Historic Trees, Mary Lunn Beckley, Ga Urban Forestry Council

  • 10:15 Break

  • 10:30 Urban Trees 0 Dr Kim Coder

  • 11:45 Lunch

  • 12:45 Southern Living New Plants- Mark Maher, Southern Living

  • 1:45 Discovering Japanese Maples - Nichol Brothers, Mr Maple

  • 2:45 Break

  • 3:00 A Horticulture Journey - Dr Michael Dirr

  • 4:00 Wrap UP and Final Door Prizes


Paper Registration

Don’t want to register online? Download the PDF version for registration.

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