Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Department name when degree awarded

Agricultural Education

Committee Chair(s)

Gilbert A. Long


Gilbert A. Long


Eldon Drake


David R. Walker


The purpose of the study was to present descriptive data bout the industry, determine the importance of the competencies needed for job entry, and assess the manpower needs of the ornamental horticulture industry in Utah.

The identified population of 576 ornamental horticulture enterprises was categorized into seven areas of specialization: Arborists (4.5%), Maintenance of Landscapes (10.8%), Landscape Construction (18.6%), Golf Courses (13.5%), Greenhouse Production (5.4%), Florist-Plant Shops (30.9%) and Garden Center-Nurseries (16.3%).

The data were collected by a survey-questionnaire. One hundred and sixteen ornamental horticulture enterprises responded to the survey. This amounted to 38% of the industry sampled and 20% of the population.

Findings of the study indicated that single enterprises conduct work in a number of the areas of specialization.

Ninety-two of the ninety-four competencies were rated at least of some importance to entry level workers. The most important competencies common to all the areas of specialization were: Human relations and communications, pest identification and control, record keeping, and safety.

Other highly rated individual competencies in the major areas of specialization included: 1) Arborists--mix and handle chemicals safely, turf establishment and maintenance, removal of trees and shrubs, and pruning techniques; 2) Maintenance of Landscapes--mix and handle chemicals safely, apply fertilizer materials, operate and maintain spray equipment, maintain turf and operate and service automatic systems; 3) Landscape Construction--plant and transplant, turf establishment and maintenance and sell products and services; 4) Golf Courses-apply fertilizer materials, maintain golf greens and turf and apply knowledge of irrigation and watering methods; 5) Greenhouse Production-apply knowledge of irrigation and watering methods; sell products and services, and operate a cash register and handle money; 6) Florist-Plant Shops--design and construct floral pieces, dish gardens, and terrariums, operate a cash register and handle money and design displays; 7) Garden Center Nurseries--operate a cash register and handle money, sell products and services, and select plant materials according to growth habits and uses.

The number of employees anticipated in the future is growing at a 16% yearly rate. The greatest anticipated yearly expansion of full time employees in the areas of Landscape Construction (63%), Arboriculture (35%) and Greenhouse Production (32%). Members of owners' families comprise 17% of the industry's employees.

The study also indicated a preference for workers presenting specific job competencies at job entry.