Horticulturist I - Full-time

Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned, nonprofit institution dedicated to the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world.  We welcome more than 1.1 million guests every year to our 1,718-acre in the western suburbs of Chicago with about 16 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of roads, and 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 plant taxa that are cared for in our landscapes, collections, and natural areas. We are seeking a horticulturist to join our team to maintain assigned collections in excellent horticultural and aesthetic condition. The successful candidate will be able to work outside in all weather conditions alone or as part of a team.  Must have exceptional time management and data-keeping skills with the ability to oversee temporary employees and volunteers.

Position SummaryMaintain assigned garden(s) or collection(s) in excellent horticultural and aesthetic condition. 

Essential Functions: 

  • Communicate with supervisor to understand and achieve individual garden and collection objectives.
  • Perform all functions involved in the care of a specified area, including:
  1. planting, dividing, and transplanting trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and herbaceous plants
  2. weeding, mulching, and watering
  3. cultivating and fertilizing
  4. pruning and arboricultural work, removing dead and diseased wood, and dead plants
  5. hedge trimming
  6. edging beds, brush cutting
  7. removing litter, twigs, leaves and other material from assigned and adjacent areas
  8. safe and proper use of pesticides and pesticide mixing/storage facility
  9. invasive species surveillance and control
  10. monitoring and controlling threatening insects, diseases, and nuisance animals
  11. record keeping; installing and maintaining proper plant labels
  • Assist in selecting, designing, and determining site location for plants in gardens and collections.
  • Learn, understand, and demonstrate the ability to safely operate and maintain all motorized equipment according to the operator manuals. Responsible for proper operation and maintenance of tools and equipment used in daily work.
  • Work with, oversee, and advise supervisor as to the quality of the performance of assigned seasonal employees, contractors, or volunteers.
  • Notify the appropriate supervisor of necessary repairs to garden features, irrigation systems, equipment, or hardscapes in an assigned garden or collection.
  • Prepare and maintain assigned garden or collection for special events, exhibitions, and other large-scale grounds projects. 
  • Participate in snow removal operations, including snow shoveling, snow blowing, and application of deicing materials. 
  • May assist in the maintenance of natural areas, including prescribed burns and winter clearing.
  • Demonstrate alignment with the Arboretum’s employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.
  • Other duties as assigned.

    Qualifications: Associate degree in horticulture or a related field required. 9+ months of relevant work experience required. In lieu of this, 3+ years of demonstrated practical work experience in horticulture or a related field required. Strong interest in outdoor plants and their proper culture and care. Must be able to identify major plant genera, know growth characteristics, and horticultural requirements of plants. Must be able to safely operate essential equipment and tools, and have a basic understanding of them, including the care and maintenance. Must become certified and maintain certification in First Aid and CPR (classes provided). Must be able to obtain and maintain an Illinois Pesticide Operator's License. May be asked to obtain Chicago Wilderness Prescribed Burn Training certificate. Must be able to obtain a Class C Commercial Driver’s License, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Basic proficiency with Google applications beneficial.

    Success Factors: Ability to perform physically demanding work outside in all weather conditions. Willingness to work alone or as part of a team. Effective time management skills. Ability to guide and give direction to assigned seasonal employees, contractors, and volunteers. Customer service oriented with the ability to relate effectively with persons internal and external to the Arboretum. 

    Physical Demands and Work Environment: The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Physical Demands: Requires significant physical activity: limited lifting (up to 100 lbs. assisted) carrying (up to 30-50 lbs.), bending, climbing (up to 15 ft.), walking over varied terrain. Sense of vision and hearing in the normal range with or without correction. Sense of touch and the ability to wear Personal Protective Equipment required.
  • Work Environment: Work is performed primarily outdoors in all weather conditions. Exposure to loud, prolonged noises and/or vibrations. 
  • Equipment: Horticulture hand and power tools, landscape equipment, pesticides and related application equipment, irrigation controller, snow removal equipment, prescribed burn equipment, chipper, dump truck, front-end loader, mower, tractor, wheelbarrow, van, utility vehicle, aerial bucket truck, two-way radio, general office equipment.
  • Schedule: Work requires occasional evening, weekend, and holiday hours depending on the season.

For full consideration, please include resume and cover letter with application.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion for diversity, supporting a culture of inclusion that attracts, inspires, and engages people to achieve success. The Arboretum is committed to hire and develop employees based on job-related qualifications irrespective of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or veteran status. To increase diversity in professions related to the public garden realm, we encourage applications from underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.  

The Morton Arboretum is dedicated to complying with our obligations as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All applicants are guaranteed equal consideration for employment. 

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If you have questions, please contact jobs@mortonarb.org