Massachusetts arborists Association

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Horticulturist Job at Harvard

Thursday, January 25, 2024 2:59 PM | Jason MacKay

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Job Summary

Facilities Maintenance Operations (FMO) - Offers building and landscape maintenance, and custodial services to Harvard faculties and departments on a fee-for-service basis. All services are provided in strict accordance with customer-determined standards. As such, FMO operates as an in-house alternative to contractor services and therefore manages by the same principles that guide any successful maintenance service business.


Position Summary:

Performs all aspects of landscape maintenance and construction, including, but not limited to organic and conventional care and maintenance of turf, trees, shrubs, and annuals throughout the University.

Position Description

  1. Interpret soil analysis; develops amendment strategies; modifies organic landscape maintenance programs to achieve desired results.
  2. Performs all aspects of composting operation, including: material sourcing, transportation, integration, gestation oversight (agitation and aeration), and liquidation of nutrient sources for use in spray applications.
  3. Performs ongoing maintenance of landscape systems, including: aeration, fertilization, renovation (seeding and sodding) of turf; pruning, removal, cabling and treatment applications (organic and/or conventional fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides) for trees and shrubs; and routine maintenance of irrigation systems.
  4. Reviews and comments on landscape design and development plans with particular emphasis on sustainability and maintenance.
  5. Interprets landscape construction drawings and plans; stakes out ground plans, organizes tasks; may perform installation work independently or as part of a larger team.
  6. Installs and maintains annual / perennial gardens and display containers including fertilization and treatment programs.
  7. Performs winter care program for trees and shrubs including: dormant pruning, anti-desiccant spraying and securing of specimens susceptible to winter damage.
  8. May oversee property maintenance workers as assigned.
  9. Perform other duties as required

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum five years experience in landscape installation and maintenance, a thorough knowledge of all aspects of turf care, with specialized training in horticulture and/or arboriculture. 
  • Minimum three years experience maintaining proper soil conditions and caring for gardens, planting beds and trees using only non-toxic methods for soil preparation and organic maintenance practices.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Additional Qualifications and Skills:

  • Must be able to accurately identify and treat weeds, diseases, insects, and other environmental stresses to the landscape. 
  • Demonstrated ability to properly climb trees in the performance of aerial removal, pruning, and cabling tasks required. 
  • Must be able to properly operate a variety of equipment and tools including: aerial lifts, chain saws, chippers, mini-excavators, skid loaders, hand mowers, rototillers, rollers, lawn sweepers, leaf blowers, salt spreaders, and various snow removal equipment (e.g., Bombardiers®, snow plows, and throwers). 
  • Must be quality focused and able to communicate with peers and customers, clearly and professionally in English.

Special Requirements:

  • Must possess and maintain the following as a condition of employment: a valid state driver’s license and satisfactory driving history; a Massachusetts hydraulic hoisting license; a Massachusetts pesticide application license; and a medical examiners certificate of health. 
  • This position is frequently required to work overtime for snow removal and other emergencies and to support University events.

Certificates and Licenses

  • Valid state driver’s license 
  • A Massachusetts hydraulic hoisting license
  • A Massachusetts pesticide application license
  • A medical examiners certificate of health

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to perform outdoor work for prolonged periods of time, often during inclement weather conditions. 
  • Frequent climbing, bending, stooping and reaching, occasional work in restricted spaces and frequent carrying/transporting heavy loads up to 50 lb.

Working Conditions

Work Format: On Campus

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