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Horticulturist I - Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Wednesday, September 07, 2022 1:37 PM | Charissa Sharkey (Administrator)

Jun. 23, 2022

Position Description

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University seeks a highly motivated and skilled horticulture professional, passionate about the care of diverse plant collections, gardens, and landscapes, to fill the role of Arboretum Horticulturist I. The successful candidate will join the Arboretum’s Horticulture Department in the stewardship of one of the finest and most significant woody plant collections in North America. Horticulturists are responsible for the full range of horticultural and landscape maintenance tasks within assigned management zones. Responsibilities include installation and establishment of new specimens; maintenance and structural pruning of young trees, shrubs, and vines; weed, mulch and compost operations; planning and execution IPM practices; implementation of fine horticulture techniques to increase landscape aesthetics; operation and maintenance of a wide-range of equipment; planning and execution of landscape improvement projects; snow operations and other weather related essential work; and other assignments as part of the full horticulture operation. In addition, horticulture staff members support the Arboretum’s longstanding internship training programs through development and instruction of courses, hands-on training, and mentorship. The successful candidate is expected to engage fully in the professional activities of the Arboretum and work collaboratively with colleagues on interdepartmental efforts. The Arboretum seeks to build a dynamic and diverse horticulture team and encourages all interested candidates meeting the basic qualifications to apply. Hourly Wage: $36.01. Full-time, Permanent, Benefits Eligible Position.

Essential Functions:

The Arboretum Horticulturist I position performs a wide variety of duties associated with the overall operation of the Arnold Arboretum including:
  • Maintenance and structural pruning of young trees, shrubs, and vines
  • Nursery practices including ball-and-burlap techniques and proper planting protocols
  • Pest and disease monitoring and management as part of a holistic IPM program
  • Weed management and lawn maintenance
  • Soil health monitoring and improvement
  • Evaluate and improve landscape aesthetics
  • Maintain, repair, and operate various equipment
  • Leaf, litter, and snow management
  • Identify and assist with repair of irrigation, drainage, paths and other hardscape and infrastructure systems
  • Oversees the work of interns, apprentices, and seasonal term appointments
  • May oversee the work of Gardener I and Gardener II workers as assigned
  • Related job duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Associate’s degree is required. Hiring preference for degrees in arboriculture, horticulture, or related field.
  • A minimum of three (3) years of experience in the field of horticulture or a related field is required.
  • Significant experience in ornamental horticulture may be substituted for the educational requirement.
  • Must have and maintain a valid driver’s license and acquire a D.O.T. Medical Examiner’s Certificate as part of the pre-hiring process.
  • Possess and maintain a Massachusetts Pesticide Applicator’s License within six months of employment and either a Massachusetts Commercial Pesticide License or a Massachusetts Private Pesticide License within three years of employment.
  • Possess and maintain (within six months of employment) a hoisting license of the proper classification as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Be certified as an Arborist with the Massachusetts Arborist Association or with the International Society of Arboriculture within six months of employment.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Required to work in all weather conditions in all seasons
  • Demonstrate performance in the safe & proper operation of the Arboretum’s equipment
  • Essential staff for weather-related emergencies impacting the grounds
  • Demonstrate ability to perform manual labor, including frequent lifting/carrying/transporting heavy loads up to 50 lbs.

What Makes the Arboretum Special?

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world's leading centers for the study of plants. Founded in 1872 and designed by America's first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Arboretum's first director, Charles Sprague Sargent, the 281-acre Arboretum is a historic landmark and one of the best-preserved of Olmsted's landscapes. A unique blend of beloved public landscape and respected research institution, the Arboretum provides and supports world-class research, horticulture, and education programs that foster the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of woody plants. Along with a horticultural library and herbarium encompassing some 4.8 million dried plant specimens, the Arboretum comprises one of the largest and best-documented woody plant collections in the world, with over 15,000 living plants. To learn more about the Arnold Arboretum and our upcoming sesquicentennial (150th anniversary), please explore

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

PLEASE NOTE: The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage:

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Contact Information

Rachel Brinkman, MCA

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