Horticulture is the science and art involved in the cultivation, propagation, processing and marketing of ornamental plants, flowers, turf, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. It is unique among plant sciences because it not only involves science and technology, but it also incorporates art and principles of design.
Horticulture, as an industry, is divided on the basis of crop and plant use. For instance, horticulture can be divided into two groups including edible plants and aesthetic plants [meaning those grown for their beauty]. The branch of horticulture which deals with the production, storage, processing, and marketing of vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, lettuce, peppers, and sweet corn, is called olericulture. The science and practice of fruit production is called pomology. Pomological crops include apples, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Floriculture is the cultivation and management of cut flowers, flowering plants, and foliage plants. Plants used as cut flowers include chrysanthemums, roses, carnations, and orchids. Easter lilies, poinsettias, and begonias are grown as flowering potted plants. Examples of foliage plants include philodendron, ferns, and ficus. Nursery crop culture is the propagation and production of young trees, shrubs, grown covers, and vines for use in exterior landscapes. Landscape horticulture entails the design, construction and maintenance of landscapes for homes, businesses and public areas [municipal buildings, highway right-of-way, rest areas, public/private golf courses, city/state/federal parks, athletic fields].
Career opportunities in horticulture are as numerous and diversified as the industry described above. The Department of Horticulture offers three distinct areas of concentration in the Plant and Soil Systems curriculum to fit the personal needs of our students. Our Ornamental, Olericulture and Pomology Option is our most diverse option. This area offers many opportunities for eager and aggressive graduates. Entrepreneurial and professional employment opportunities exist in the nursery crop production industry, installation and maintenance of outdoor/indoor landscapes, and in wholesale and retail sales. Many students interested in this option intern nationwide at prestigious arboretums, amusement parks and large-scale nurseries. This option is also flexible enough to fulfill the needs of students interested in the production of fruits, nuts, and vegetables and the allied service sector, i.e. field representatives for produce brokers/buyers, food processors, or crop consultants. The Turfgrass Management Option trains students to manage golf courses, athletic or recreational fields. Aggressive turfgrass management specialists often command some of the highest salaries available in professional agriculture. The Science Option is for students interested in teaching and/or research in horticulture. Most students taking this option pursue an advanced degree.
Job Openings at SavATree Career opportunities are available for individuals who are looking to join a team of arborists and professional lawn care specialists that are passionate and committed to arboricultural excellence.