Ontario Skills Passport
Layout structure
Header structure
Display Noc
OSP Occupational Profile

OSP Occupational Profile

Print Occupational Profile

Display page browsing back option list
Display page browsing back option list <<Back
Display Noc Details
NOC Code: NOC Code: 2225 Occupation: Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
This unit group includes 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 such as irrigation; 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, and municipal, provincial and national parks, or they may be self-employed. This unit group includes 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 such as irrigation; 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, and municipal, provincial and national parks, or they may be self-employed.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3 4
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3 4
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read short comments on forms and handwritten notes from co-workers, customers and supervisors. (1)
  • Read promotional materials such as brochures, pamphlets and product catalogues from suppliers to understand their offers and make informed purchasing decisions. (2)
  • Review specifications written by contractors, architects and designers. For example, read tree planting specifications written by contractors to ensure that provisions have been made for tree protection in landscape architecture projects and landscape maintenance contracts. (2)
  • Read trade publications such as Landscape Trades, Landscape Architecture, Turf and Recreation, Canadian Gardening, Shade Gardening, Grower Talk, Canadian Greenhouse, Échos municipaux de l'Association des responsables d'espaces verts du Québec and Québec vert to stay abreast of industry trends and learn about new horticultural products, equipment and supplies. (2)
  • Read directions on pesticide and fertilizer labels and in Material Safety Data Sheets for details of handling, mixing, application and first aid procedures. (2)
  • Read email from clients or co-workers confirming meeting arrangements, responding to questions or enquiring about the status of landscape design, maintenance or horticultural activities. (2)
  • Refer to building codes, zoning regulations, by-laws and other provincial and municipal regulations to ensure that landscape designs, procedures and practices are compliant with rules and regulations. For example, check on the requirements for the landscaping of sites bordering bodies of water. (3)
  • Read instruction manuals for landscaping equipment and supplies and computer programs. For example, refer to software user manuals to review specific functions or steps needed to create plant images, custom plant care packages and quotations using landscape design software. (3)
  • Read articles in scientific journals such as the Journal of Arboriculture, Journal de la Société internationale d'arboriculture, Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases and Turfgrass Science and Culture to learn about plant breeding experiments, the control of destructive pests or the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Sudden Oak Death. These articles contain specialized terminology intended for an expert audience. (4)
Back to Top

  • Write comments on inspection forms noting observations, concerns or suggestions for treatment programs. (1)
  • Write email to co-workers, contractors and clients to request information, coordinate activities or respond to enquiries. (2)
  • Write letters to accompany tenders for the construction or maintenance of gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. Use templates and modify previous letters as necessary to create new invitations. (2)
  • Write investigation reports following the discovery of damaged or diseased trees, shrubs, plants or turf. These reports vary in length and complexity, but each of them describes the nature of the problem, the variables investigated to identify causes and the outcome of the investigation. (3)
  • Write responses to requests for proposals for landscape design work. Address key components of the requests and convey complex horticultural and landscaping concepts in an effective manner. It is usually necessary to gather and select technical descriptions from multiple sources and adapt them for non-technical audiences. (4)
  • Write articles for newsletters, newspapers and magazines to inform peers about specific horticultural and business issues and introduce the public to general gardening practices and new products. For example, write about environmentally-sound ways of controlling pests and maintaining the health and appearance of trees, shrubs, plants and lawns. (4)
  • Prepare detailed descriptions of work to be completed such as instructions for employees and comprehensive specifications for contractors. These instructions and specifications comprise a detailed description of tasks to be performed, inorganic and organic materials to be used, timeframes to be achieved and other contract requirements. (4)
Back to Top

Document Use
  • Read lists of names and addresses of horticultural product suppliers. (1)
  • Scan labels on fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide and fungicide containers to find information on ingredients, concentrations, hazard warnings and expiry dates. (1)
  • Check coloured pictures of varied types of diseases to assess the health and conditions of trees, shrubs, plants and lawns. (2)
  • Identify and use a variety of icons to search websites for information on trees, shrubs, evergreens, roses, bulbs, herbs, perennials, bedding plants and other horticultural products. (2)
  • Locate and retrieve data from various tables, schedules and other table-like text. For example, locate information about the composition and health hazard of chemical products on Material Safety Data Sheets and other technical data sheets. (3)
  • Record details of herbicide, fungicide and pesticide use on reporting forms. For example, complete pesticide application forms to describe the problems diagnosed and the treatment solutions used. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings to assemble or repair grounds maintenance and other equipment. For example, look at assembly drawings showing the proper way to assemble irrigation pumps or sprinkler heads. (3)
  • Review landscape drawings submitted by employees, contractors, designers and property owners to ensure that design criteria have been satisfied and specifications have been met. Take measurements from scale drawings to check that all items have been appropriately represented. (4)
  • Interpret graphs contained in textbooks, trade publications, scientific journals and websites to learn about the effectiveness of techniques used in the treatment of damaged or diseased trees, shrubs, plants or turf. Combine information from the graphs and accompanying texts to fully understand the effectiveness of techniques. (4)
Back to Top

Digital Technology
  • Enter and view tree inventory, landscape design and horticultural project data in databases. Retrieve price information on fertilizers, pesticides, lime, spray gear and other equipment from suppliers' databases. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email and attachments with contractors and co-workers. (2)
  • Use word processing to write, edit and format documents such as 'requests for proposals', tenders and reports. (2)
  • Perform keyword searches to get a variety of information about landscaping and horticulture from websites. Use the Internet to exchange larger files using file transfer protocol software. (2)
  • Create spreadsheets to track hours worked by employees and contractors. Enter formulas into spreadsheets to calculate invoice amounts and estimate cost. (3)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use global positioning systems to verify the geographical coordinates of specific points in parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. Use photo editing software to enlarge and print photos taken with digital cameras. Use project management software to schedule activities and organize information related to human resources, equipment use and maintenance, and operational costs. (3)
  • Use graphics software. For example, create slide shows using presentation software such as PowerPoint. In order to develop effective demonstration packages for clients and supervisors and illustrate landscape design concepts, import photographs, scans, drawings, word processing files and spreadsheet tables. (4)
  • Use computer-assisted landscape design software to prepare scale drawings of proposed landscape designs. (4)
Back to Top

Oral Communication
  • Talk to customers and staff at nurseries and greenhouses about plants and plant care. (1)
  • Speak with suppliers and contractors to inquire about the availability of materials and supplies, negotiate prices and clarify specifications. For example, speak to contractors to clarify specifications for the construction of gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. Be explicit and precise to avoid delays, cost overruns and work which doesn't meet contract requirements. (2)
  • Coordinate landscaping design and development processes with experts such as architects and engineers. (2)
  • Give directions to other employees and discuss job tasks with them. For example, discuss the condition of damaged and diseased trees, shrubs, plants and lawns and suggest treatment plans. (2)
  • Give presentations to audiences such as clients, council members and peers on matters such as new landscape design projects, the prevalence of invasive insects and the treatment of damaged or diseased trees, shrubs, plants, lawns or turf. People attending these presentations may be unfamiliar with the topics presented and concepts conveyed so adapt the presentation style and language to suit non-specialist audiences. (3)
  • Speak with clients to assess their needs, get their input in the development of landscape designs and advise them on the maintenance of their landscaped environments. Question clients to identify their budgets, timeframes and preferences. Discuss horticultural issues and recommend trees, shrubberies, plants, lawns, fences, decks, patios and other landscape structures to address clients' needs. (3)
  • Meet with supervisors to receive directions and discuss 'invitations to tender', landscape designs, project priorities, workloads, procedures, timelines, equipment problems, budgets and safety concerns. Present landscape drawings, specifications and cost estimates and obtain guidance, recommendations and approvals. (3)
  • Speak with peers at trade fairs and association meetings to discuss relevant subjects such as new products and methods for plant propagation, disease control, market trends and certification. (3)
Back to Top

Money Math
  • Accept payment for landscaping or horticultural services and make change. (1)
  • Prepare or approve invoices for the design, construction or maintenance of gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. Multiply the numbers of hours worked by hourly rates, add equipment and material costs, calculate applicable taxes and total the amounts. (2)
  • Calculate or approve travel claim amounts. Calculate reimbursements for the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates, and add amounts for accommodation, meals and other expenses. (2)
Back to Top

Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Compare prices on greenhouse ornamental and nursery crops, fertilizers, pesticides, seedlings, cuttings and hardscape to determine best buys. (1)
  • Review tenders for subcontracted work. Perform comparative analyses of financial data submitted by contractors and determine which bids offer the best prices and most feasible work plans. (3)
  • Create and monitor budgets for the design, construction or maintenance of gardens, parks, golf courses and other landscaped environments. Ensure that expenses incurred for equipment, organic and inorganic materials and labour remain within budgeted amounts. (4)
  • Prepare and monitor schedules which identify major activities and target completion dates for the design, construction or maintenance of landscaped environments. For example, horticulture specialists and technicians may prepare schedules for plant cultivating; tree planting, trimming and fertilizing; shrub bed weeding, tilling, edging, raking and mulching; and shrub planting and pruning. They frequently adjust schedules because of weather conditions, loss of staff, or unforeseen outbreaks of diseases. (4)
Back to Top

Measurement and Calculation
  • Determine the quantities of materials and supplies needed for jobs. For example, determine the number of pesticide capsules needed for a job by totalling the diameters of all trees to be treated and dividing the total by the number of centimetres treated per capsule. Determine the quantity of paving stones in square feet required to meet design requirements. Golf course superintendents may determine the amount of sand needed for bunkers by calculating their areas. (2)
  • Calculate weights and liquid volumes needed to prepare fertilizer, fungicide, herbicide and insecticide mixtures. Perform these calculations using ratios, rates and percentages. (2)
  • Take measurements from landscape drawings to determine location to plant or place shrubs, trees and flowers. (2)
  • Take various precise measurements. For example, take precise site measurements using laser distance and height instruments. Take a series of measurements of diameters of plant stems and tree trunks at precise intervals as specified in manuals of standards using callipers. (3)
Back to Top

Data Analysis
  • Analyze deviations from schedules and budgets. Compare budgeted amounts to actual expenditures and completion dates to target dates for each activity. Analyse successes and failures and identify lessons learned. For example, determine changes in the prices of organic and inorganic materials and depict trends in those prices. Identify items that were underestimated in previous projects, such as the number of damaged plants to be replaced. It may be possible to improve the accuracy of future cost estimates based on these analyses. (3)
  • Collect and analyze quantitative data on a number of variables such as diseases, pests and treatments in trees, shrubs, plants and lawns, outside temperatures, rainfalls and soil acidity. Interpret data to identify relationships between variables and assess the effectiveness of treatments. (3)
Back to Top

Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the time needed for the removals and relocations of large trees using past experience as a guide. (1)
  • Estimate slope degree when determining drainage, erosion, retaining wall construction, mowing accessibility and planting strategies. (2)
  • Estimate the number of hours which should be assigned for various landscape design, construction or maintenance tasks. Use past requirements as a guide but allow time for unexpected difficulties. (2)
  • Estimate quantities and amounts when preparing budgets for the design, construction and maintenance of landscaped environments which may include trees, shrubberies, lawns, fences, decks, patios and other landscape structures. Take into consideration the quantities and unit costs of organic and inorganic materials and of labour. Factor in the time needed to locate materials and the probability of obtaining volume discounts. It is necessary to be fairly accurate to minimize budget overruns. (3)
Back to Top

Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Landscape and horticulture 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. Senior landscape and horticulture 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)
Back to Top

Decision Making
  • Decide which tasks to assign to which employees. Consider each individual's skills, experience, attitude and ability to meet deadlines. (2)
  • Choose trees, shrubs and plants to recommend to clients. 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. Review various tenders and determine which contractors offer the best prices and most feasible work plans. Because most landscaping and horticultural work is seasonal, plans may be delayed for a whole year and considerable time and money lost if contractors fail to perform as expected. (3)
  • Decide to bid on particular landscape design projects. Review invitations to tender to determine whether the organization has the time and skill sets needed to write solid submissions, be competitive and eventually bring the proposed projects to fruition. Consult supervisors and co-workers to gather their input. (3)
  • Select fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and other chemicals to use. Consider factors such as the health and condition of trees, shrubs, plants and turf. Review information found in Material Safety Data Sheets relating to the ingredients, health hazards, handling, storage, disposal and other characteristics of chemical products. If the wrong product is used, it can cause significant environmental damage and waste money. (4)
Back to Top

Problem Solving
  • Encounter bad weather which prevents landscaping operations from proceeding. Advise supervisors or clients and make schedule changes for the crews. (1)
  • Face staffing shortages on particular days. Contact casual and on-call employees to check their availabilities. If enough replacement workers cannot be found, revise schedules and work later than originally planned. Remaining work may have to be rescheduled. (2)
  • Crews encounter unexpected difficulties such as the discovery of big boulders and tree stumps that are hard to remove. If project deadlines cannot be met, meet with supervisors or clients to outline the difficulties and provide estimates of the additional time and resources required. (2)
  • Local suppliers cannot be located for plants and trees of the types specified in contracts. The situation is further complicated if clients will not accept substitutes. In such instances, contact distant suppliers until plants and trees are located and arrange for the fastest possible delivery. (2)
  • Landscape designs you created exceed clients' budgets. Meet with clients to discuss whether additional funds will be made available to cover the added costs. If not, modify the designs to reduce costs. For example, elect to reduce the number of trees planted. (3)
Back to Top

Finding Information
  • Find information about past landscaping or horticultural activities by searching databases. (2)
  • 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)
  • Find legislation applying to current landscaping projects in building codes, zoning regulations and by-laws. (3)
Back to Top

Critical Thinking
  • Assess the suitability of candidates applying for seasonal jobs in horticulture and landscaping. Review résumés to identify relevant work histories and educational achievements, interview potential candidates and analyse qualifications using predetermined guidelines. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of work done by contractors and employees who install and maintain landscaped environments. 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. 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. 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)
  • Assess the effectiveness of various techniques and approaches for the treatment of damaged or diseased trees, shrubs, plants or turf. Design and conduct experiments. Define variables to be investigated, such as outside temperatures, rainfalls, soil acidity, pests and previous treatments. Collect data on these interrelated variables, analyse results and offer opinions and recommendations. (3)
Back to Top