Despite a snowstorm (what has become an annual tradition at New England Grows), over 11,000 arborists, landscapers, horticulturists and other green industry gurus descended on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center February 5-7 for New England Grows 2014. If you didn’t make it to Beantown, here’s a peek at some of what you missed.

The Expo Floor

This year’s show featured 500 exhibiting companies, more than 10 percent of which were new to New England Grows this year. Customers enjoyed the face time with company representatives as well as the opportunity to take advantage of “Grows-only” show discounts.

All eyes were up when climbing demos stole the show at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

A redesigned Common Ground at Grows created a lot of buzz and drew a steady stream of visitors to the expo floor. Rapid-fire Sprint Sessions featured tips, trends and takeaways from university faculty and other industry experts. New, interactive Learning Hubs provided hands-on education including a popular knot-tying competition, the latest on how to keep bees healthy, and an App Bar highlighting useful mobile apps. Grows’ new mobile app, which includes a Geo-Trac game that took participants on a fast-paced hot spot hunt throughout the expo, created a lot of excitement at the show, as did “NiceMeeting” technology that allowed participants to view speaker presentations directly on their mobile devices.

The interactive display on arborist knots for climbing and rigging, sponsored by the Massachusetts Arborists Association with support from ArborMaster, was a popular stop on the trade show floor.
Photos by Katie Meyers.

Education

The New England Grows’ education program impressed once again with seminars that focused on innovation, emerging trends and research finds. 2014’s lineup included: Nalini Nadkarni, Jane Knight, Mark Bradley, Glyn Jones, Bill Cullina and Michael Raupp, who delivered on trending topics like: biodiversity, permaculture, sustainable practices, living soil, climate change and vertical landscape design.

Despite the snowy weather, thousands of landscapers and tree care pros descended on the convention center.

Dining With the Speakers

New this year, Dining with the Speakers gave attendees the opportunity to spend some quality time with a few of the speakers presenting at the show. Guests at the dinner enjoyed the chance to ask questions and trade stories with the industry experts, who included the fascinating Queen of the Forest Canopy Research, Dr. Nalini Nadkarni. Nadkarni, a pioneer in forest canopy research who has published over 95 scientific articles and three scholarly books, answered questions and shared insight on her career with the arborists in attendance. Meet the New President, Greg Mosman!

Nurseries from around the region brought trees, shrubs and plants to exhibit.

New England Grows welcomes Greg Mosman as its new president. Mosman has been the Boston city arborist for 12 years, overseeing the 35,000 trees found within the city. A Boston native, Mosman has a passion for the city’s historic trees, and for maintaining the integrity of the parks designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted.

Before being named to the one-year term as president, Mosman started out on the New England Grows education committee, and has been a board member for the last four years.

From tree treatments to aerial lifts, the trade show featured everything tree care pros need to get the job done.

He says the number and quality of educational opportunities for arborists available at the show are on par with other national shows that are strictly tree-related.

Sprint Sessions, 15-minute mini classes held on the trade show floor, were a popular feature of this year’s show.

“A lot of tree guys around the country who only travel to TCI or ISA don’t get how big and how important this [show] is,” he says.

Photos courtesy of New England Grows.

New England Grows is an educational partnership between the New England Nursery Association, Massachusetts Arborists Association, Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals and Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association. Its co-sponsor network includes 40 allied green industry organizations. New England Grows supports the green industry through annual grants to the region’s Cooperative Extension Systems, the FFA Organization, local horticultural schools and more. For the latest information, visit http://www.NewEnglandGrows.org.