JoAnne Skelly: Cooperative Extension training starts this week |

JoAnne Skelly: Cooperative Extension training starts this week

JoAnne Skelly
Swiss mountain pine (pinus mugo) in the sunny slopes of the Rhone Valley in Valais, Switzerland. The Swiss mountain pine is also called creeping pine, dwarf mountainpine or mugo pine.

I’m leery when I see “dwarf” mugos (Pinus mugo) sold in stores. The idea of a pine that stays tiny and round is tempting for the interesting shape and texture it brings to a landscape. However, “dwarf” can be misleading. In their native habitat in the mountains of Europe, mugos grow to 20 feet in height. While this is short for a pine, 20 feet might be far too tall when you were hoping for a plant that stayed 4 feet or less. When considering incorporating a mugo pine into your landscape design, investigate the 50 or so varieties available. A standard mugo, even though it might say “dwarf” on the label will attain heights you might not want or expect. However, there are varieties that can delight. Some grow upright and pyramidal. Some have a rounded habit and others stay flat. Some might need annual pruning to stay compact. Pinus mugo “Mops,” or variety pumilio or mughus, stay compact without annual pruning, to name a few. A few varieties are actually yellow or yellow-tipped, and some even have a blue tint.

On another note, there’s a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension training starting this week. The 2019 Green Industry Training will be 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 29 to Feb. 26. You can still sign up today for tonight’s class.

The Green Industry Training is a series of entry-level classes. Participants can enroll in individual classes at a cost of $15 per class or they can enroll in the entire course for a discounted cost of $80.

Fees include course materials, certificates of attendance, refreshments and International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Pesticide Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Classes are held live at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office in Reno, 4955 Energy Way, and videoconferenced to the Carson/Storey County Cooperative Extension office in Carson City, 2621 Northgate Lane, suite 12. To attend in Reno, contact Jenn Fisher at 775-336-0249 or Carson City participants, please contact the Carson/Storey County Cooperative Extension office at 775-887-2252 or in person at 2621 Northgate Lane, suite 15 to register.

Here is the schedule of topics:

• Jan. 29: Plant Disease Basics

• Jan. 31: Noxious Weeds and Weed Law

• Feb. 5: Soils, Potting Mixes and Fertilizers

• Feb. 7: Pruning Landscape Plants

• Feb. 12: Insect Identification

• Feb. 14: Sustainable Turfgrass Management

• Feb. 19: IPM Basics and Pesticide Safety

• Feb. 21: Applying IPM Principles

JoAnne Skelly is associate professor and Extension educator, Emerita at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at