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Horticulture is the study of plant physiology and propagation. Horticulturalists apply their knowledge of botany, plant, and soil science to areas like landscape design or crop management. Future Growth Static

They work directly with plants, overseeing all aspects of breeding, selection, planting, care, and production. Some are involved in the growing and selling of food crops, while others work with ornamentals. Those with advanced degrees often teach at universities, in addition to completing research. Many horticulturalists spend considerable time outdoors, but some work in greenhouses or laboratories. Work in this field can be physically demanding and repetitious, and may be performed in all types of weather. Travel may also be required depending on the job. Horticulturalist

A horticulturalist performs research which is designed to promote efficiency in the growth, harvest, and storage of crops. In addition, horticulturalists also work with ornamental plants, trees, vines, and so  forth, developing new plant varieties, innovative landscaping techniques, and gardening styles for all climates.

A horticulturalist can choose among a number of areas of focus, ranging from viticulture, the production of grapes, to entomology, studying insects which have an impact on crops.

In the world of commercial agriculture, horticulturalists develop new strains of plants which boast improved yields. They may work with a specific plant to develop a breed which is easier to harvest, or which stores better than other plant varieties. Horticulturalists also research postharvest physiology, looking at how well plants keep, and methods which could be used to improve the storage life for commercially popular crops.

A horticulturalist can also develop new ways to use plants, along with new plant breeds. A horticulturalist who works on crops for mass-production may think about issues like disease-resistance, making things convenient for harvesting equipment, or insect and animal pests. Horticulturalists who focus on crops for smaller-scale production may focus on preserving and improving heritage crops, or publicizing the importance of maintaining crop diversity.
(Source: wiseGeek)

What Do Horticulturalists Do?

Horticulturalists specializing in ecological landscapes and urban forestry may create landscapes that provide ecosystem services, such as stabilizing slopes, reducing erosion, improving air and water quality, or even reducing the energy usage of buildings. They may also design parks and botanical gardens, or own a landscaping business.

Those specializing in ecological and sustainable production may advise growers on best practices for sustainability, or own or manage a nursery, greenhouse, orchard, vineyard, or Christmas tree farm.

Some horticulturalists specialize in turf management, overseeing the management of turf for golf courses and sports fields. Horticulturalists specializing in viticulture may own or manage a vineyard or winery, or provide consultation services to growers.

Those focusing on pest management may advise regulatory agencies, agricultural suppliers, and processing companies on pest control methods.

Horticulturalists may also conduct research in horticultural science, such as breeding new plant varieties, increasing drought resistance, or increasing yields. Researchers may also apply their expertise to developing improvements for canning and freezing companies, seed companies, and manufacturers of growing equipment and supplies.

Other horticulturalists inspect fruits and vegetables for government or private agencies. Some horticulturalists become teachers and professors, or educate the public as county extension agents.

Five Branches of Horticulture

There are five main branches of horticulture that are divided according to the type of crops produced and how the plants are used.

Floriculture – This area of horticulture focuses on the cultivation of flowers (cut and potted) and foliage. Flower arrangement also fall under this header.

Pomology – If you love to eat delicious fruit, then pomology may interest you. This branch of horticulture revolves around production and cultivation of fruit crops.

Nursery/Plant Propagation – The development and dissemination of plant seeds, shrubs, trees, ornamental plants, and ground covering is the focus of this area of horticulture. Typically these plants are used in landscaping or interior plantscaping projects.

Olericulture – Vegetable lovers will enjoy a career in this field. Olericulturists handle the farming, processing, storage, and marketing of all edible parts of vegetables including the roots, leaves, flowers, stems, seeds, and young tops. Typically vegetables are eaten raw, cooked, or preserved.

Landscape Horticulture – Ever wonder who develops those beautiful parks and indoor garden environments? Landscape horticulturists design, construct, and take care of landscapes in homes, businesses, and public areas. They choose plants for their aesthetic appeal and practicality and arrange them in ways that are pleasing and conform to the needs of their clients.

Any one of these branches may also deal with the following types of crops: seeds and roots, perennial bush, tree nuts, and aromatic and medicinal foliage.

 

 

Duties and Tasks

Horticulturalist examining plantHorticulturist jobs focus on agricultural science - that is, improving all aspects of fruits, vegetables, trees, and plants. Horticulturists also breed new varieties of plants and trees for disease resistance, increased crop yield, improved climate tolerance or esthetics.

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter in a horticulture job:

  • Facilitate plans from inception to completion and management

  • Assess forests and bush for rehabilitation and data gathering

  • Create and maintain onsite and offsite resources like nurseries, young forest sites, seeding, planting, greenhouses

  • Fertilize, water, control weeds, prune, and propagate plants

  • Harvest seeds and cultivate young trees and plants

  • Review research and literature relating to current discoveries and best practices

  • Review health and safety data for the region, and time of year

  • Collect field and control samples of roots, green matter and yields for analysis

  • Measure forest and agricultural metrics on an ongoing basis

  • Encourage new growth

  • Create hybrid varieties with regulatory compliance in mind

  • Work with overall propagation plan in successive generations of plants to produce ideal specimens

  • Issue environmental field reports

  • Work in remote locations in all weather conditions

  • Process horticultural specimens and samples

  • Have working knowledge of plant species and their characteristics, as well as their ecological impact on their environment



Senior horticulture careers focus on leading teams with enhanced management and administrative skills. Some of the additional tasks that accompany this senior position are:

  • Approve the use of herbicides, silvicides and insecticides for use in the greenhouse, nursery, or forest

  • Oversee sample management

  • Ensure accuracy in data breeding and yield records

  • Use computer modelling to analyze data and predict longevity or yield outcomes

  • Collaborate with other industry professionals to contribute information to long-term management plans and reporting procedures

  • Communicate with clients, government departments, and the public

  • Oversee replantation actions

  • Oversee quality and safety controls for all biomass handling processes including green housing infrastructure, storage, transportation procedures, and inspection, planting, watering, etc

  • Have working knowledge of all species and their impact on local ecology (Source: Environmental Science)

 

Did You Know?

Australia’s horticulture industry comprises fruit, vegetables, nuts, flowers, turf and nursery products. The industry is labour intensive and mostly seasonal. It comprises mainly small-scale family farms—however, there is a growing trend towards medium to larger scale operations. Australia’s horticulture industry has long enjoyed a domestic and international reputation for quality—primarily due to our high standards across all stages of the supply chain, from farm to consumer.

In 2011-12 Australia’s horticultural industry was the nation’s third largest agricultural industry—based on gross value of production. The horticultural industry contributes significantly to the prosperity of people living in rural and regional Australia. There are 59,500 people employed in Australia to grow fruit, vegetables and nuts for the domestic and export markets. A further 6,250 are employed in fruit and vegetable processing (excluding wine manufacturing) (source: DAFF Australian Food Statistics 2011-12).

The value of production for annual and perennial horticultural crops are approximately equal, with the total area under production in Australia around 289,300 hectares.

Department of Agriculture - website

The major horticulture growing areas in Australia include the

Goulburn Valley of Victoria
;
the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area of New South Wales;
the Sunraysia district of Victoria/NSW;
the Riverland region of South Australia;

northern Tasmania;
southwest Western Australia and
the coastal strip of both northern New South Wales and Queensland.

Nursery production generally occurs close to the capital cities. Some horticultural produce from the southern states is directed to processing. Queensland vegetables typically supply the southern states during the cooler June to October period.

Banana, pineapple, mandarin, avocado, mango, fresh tomato, capsicum, zucchini and beetroot production is concentrated in Queensland; stonefruit, oranges and grapes in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia; processing potatoes in Tasmania; fresh pears, canning fruit and processing tomatoes in Victoria; and apples and fresh vegetables in all states.

Australia has a significant tropical horticultural industry including large irrigation schemes in the Ord River in Western Australia and the Burdekin River in Queensland. Bananas, mangoes, avocados, papaya, lychees, cucurbits (rockmelons, watermelons, pumpkins) together with tropical nursery plants and vegetables are important industries.

There is also a growing “rare and exotic fruit” industry producing fruits such as: rambutans, durians, tamarillos, carambolas, jackfruit and mangosteens.
(Source: Australian Department of Agriculture)

Working conditions

Working conditions for horticulturalists vary by position. Some work in garden centers or nurseries. Landscapers spend most of their time outdoors. Landscape designers and turf managers also spend time outside, but also conduct design and planning activities indoors.

Horticulturalists may be exposed to smells from chemicals and fertilizers. Workers may also be exposed to potential plant, pollen, and chemical allergens. This career path may not be suitable for people who are sensitive to these allergens.

Horticulturists generally work full-time. While some work may ebb and flow with the seasons, most people in this industry work year-round.

Horticulturalists work with plants, applying their knowledge to fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and non-food crops to maximize their health or growth. They may also design landscapes or manage golf courses and sports turf. Horticultural supervisors may plan for plant management and special events. While horticulturalists do work in plant production, they may also find work in management, marketing, education, and research. Some are self-employed in fruit or vegetable production, landscape design, nurseries, greenhouses, and garden centres.

Education and training/entrance requirements

Becoming a horticulturalist begins with a bachelor's degree program in horticulture, botany, or a related field. Most bachelor's degree programs last four years and begin with introductory courses in botany, chemistry, and soil science. Some courses require participation in laboratory experiments that allow students to gain insight into plant cultivation and breeding. As students advance in the major, they might have the option of specializing in specific fields, such as urban forestry or production horticulture.

Horticulturalist

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Civil Engineer

Viticulturalist

Surveyor

Beekeeper

Landscape Architect

Lifeguard

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Pomologist

Pest and Weed Controller

Geographer

Olericulturist

Environmental Consultant

Floriculturist

Farmer

Horticultural Assistant

Zookeeper

Beekeeper

Civil Engineer

Horticulturalist

Viticulturalist

Surveyor

Landscape Architect

Horse Trainer

Forester

Electrical Linesperson

Shearer

Greenkeeper

Stonemason

Crop Farmer

Livestock Farmer

Aquaculture Farmer

Miner

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Jillaroo Jackeroo

Arborist

Horse Manager

Wool Classer

Farrier

Waste Water Operator

Horse Groomer

Grain Oilseed Pasture Grower

Animal Attendant and Trainer

Coastal Engineer

Pomologist

Pest and Weed Controller

Geographer

Olericulturist

Environmental Consultant

Floriculturist