Landscape and Horticultural Technicians and Specialists(2225)
Landscape and Horticultural Technicians and Specialists include those who survey and assess landscapes; draw sketches and build models of landscape designs; construct and maintain gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments; advise clients on issues related to horticulture; breed, cultivate and study plants; and treat injured and diseased trees and plants. They are employed by landscape designers and contractors, lawn service and tree care establishments, golf courses, nurseries and greenhouses, municipal, provincial and national parks, or they may be self-employed.
Help - Thinking
- Encounter bad weather which prevents landscaping operations from proceeding. They advise supervisors or clients and make schedule changes for their crews. (1)
- Are sometimes unable to locate local suppliers for plants and trees of the types specified in contracts. The situation is further complicated if clients will not accept substitutes. In such instances, they contact distant suppliers until they locate the plants and trees and arrange for the fastest possible delivery. (2)
- Face staffing shortages on particular days. They contact casual and on-call employees to check their availabilities. If they cannot find enough replacement workers, they revise their own schedules and work later than originally planned. They may have to reschedule any remaining work. (2)
- Are often notified by their crews of unexpected difficulties such as the discovery of big boulders and tree stumps that are hard to remove. If they feel they will not be able to meet project deadlines, they meet with supervisors or clients to outline the difficulties and provide estimates of the additional time and resources required. (2)
- May create landscape designs that exceed clients' budgets. They meet with clients to discuss whether additional funds will be made available to cover the added costs. If not, they must modify their designs to reduce costs. For example, they may elect to reduce the number of trees planted. (3)
- Decide which tasks to assign to which employees. They consider each individual's skills, experience, attitude and ability to meet deadlines. (2)
- Choose trees, shrubs and plants to recommend to clients. They take into consideration factors such as the terrain, soil conditions, sun exposures and clients' preferences and budgets. (2)
- Recommend and may select contractors for the construction or maintenance of gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. They review various tenders and determine which contractors offer the best prices and most feasible work plans. Because most landscaping and horticultural work is seasonal, they may find plans delayed for a whole year and lose considerable time and money if contractors fail to perform as expected. (3)
- May decide to bid on particular landscape design projects. They review invitations to tender to determine whether their organizations have the time and skills sets needed to write solid submissions, be competitive and eventually bring the proposed projects to fruition. They consult supervisors and co-workers to gather their input. (3)
- May select fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and other chemicals to use. They consider factors such as the health and condition of trees, shrubs, plants and turf. They review information found in Material Safety Data Sheets relating to the ingredients, health hazards, handling, storage, disposal and other characteristics of chemical products. If they use the wrong product, they can cause significant environmental damage and waste money. (4)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- May assess the suitability of candidates applying for seasonal jobs in horticulture and landscaping. They review resumes to identify relevant work histories and educational achievements, interview potential candidates and analyse qualifications using predetermined guidelines. (2)
- May evaluate the quality of work done by contractors and employees who install and maintain landscaped environments. They verify that specified tasks have been performed, specified inorganic and organic materials and equipment operating procedures have been used, and timeframes, landscape design plans, codes and regulations have been respected. (2)
- Assess the health and conditions of trees, shrubs, plants and lawns. They complete visual examinations, analyse foliages and consider factors such as the shape of the trees and the presence of discoloured, peeling, splitting or cracking bark and stunted growth. They may also check coloured pictures of varied types of diseases and take into account the characteristic appearance of these diseases at various stages in their life cycles. (2)
- May assess the effectiveness of various techniques and approaches for the treatment of damaged or diseased trees, shrubs, plants or turf. They may design and conduct experiments. They define variables to be investigated, such as outside temperatures, rainfalls, soil acidity, pests and previous treatments. They collect data on these interrelated variables, analyse results and offer opinions and recommendations. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists work in dynamic environments with many conflicting demands on their time. Planning is complicated by the need to coordinate their own tasks with those of many landscape design, architecture, engineering, landscaping, urban planning, grounds maintenance, nursery and greenhouse professionals. They must be able to work on several projects at the same time and manage priorities. Changes in landscape designs or weather conditions, delays in the delivery of organic or inorganic materials, staffing shortages, pressures from supervisors or clients, equipment breakdowns and other emergencies force them to frequently reorganize job tasks. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Senior landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists play a central role in organizing, planning, scheduling and monitoring the activities of employees and contractors who construct or maintain landscaped environments. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember preferences mentioned by clients during meetings.
- Remember the names, uses, prices and suppliers of a large variety of plant material, fertilizers, pesticides, and hardscape materials when designing and costing the installation of new gardens.
- Remember procedures to deal with software errors and equipment idiosyncrasies.
- Recall the names and duties of co-workers, contractors, colleagues and clients to facilitate communication and build rapport.
- Find information about past landscaping or horticultural activities by searching databases. (2)
- Find legislation applying to current landscaping projects in building codes, zoning regulations and by-laws. (3)
- Search a wide range of sources including textbooks, trade publications, scientific journals and suppliers' websites to find information about trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, soils, inorganic materials, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, treatment techniques and equipment. (3)
Help - Additional information
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Landscape designers, landscape architectural technicians and other landscape specialists coordinate and integrate job tasks with teams of landscape architects, architects, surveyors, urban planners and structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineers and engineering technologists. They also work independently to carry out research, prepare drawings, and develop specifications, cost estimates and schedules.
Arborists, tree service technicians, golf course maintenance specialists, lawn care technicians, greenhouse, nursery and floriculture production specialists and other horticultural technicians and specialists work independently to inspect and treat lawns, plants, golf courses, trees and shrubs. They coordinate and sometimes integrate their activities with co-workers who cultivate plants in nurseries and greenhouses and those who maintain gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. (3)
Continuous learning is an integral part of the work of landscape and horticultural technicians and specialists. They are expected to know where to get landscaping and horticultural information, stay abreast of changes in zoning, by-laws, regulations and standards and further their knowledge of trees, shrubs, plants, soils, inorganic materials, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, treatment techniques and equipment. They need to master new technologies such as computer-assisted irrigation and landscape design technologies. On a day-to-day basis, they learn by talking to co-workers, colleagues and suppliers, touring garden and trade shows and reading information found in websites, trade publications, journals, building codes, regulations manuals and other textbooks.
Horticultural technicians, landscape architectural technologists and certified arborists are governed by the regulatory body in the province in which they practise. They may be required to set up their own learning plans and achieve or exceed a certain number of continuous education units to maintain their certification. They generally obtain such units by attending lectures, courses, conferences, symposia, workshops or seminars. (3)