Grower - Full-time

Lisle, IL
Full Time

The Morton Arboretum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the planting and protecting of trees both locally and globally. Be a part of this important mission as a member of the plant propagation team, growing and propagating trees and plants from inception. The Grower is part of a dedicated team of full and part-time staff working to make the Arboretum exceptional, and the world a greener, healthier and more beautiful place.

Position Summary: Responsible for propagating and growing plants for the Arboretum collections, landscapes, gardens, plant breeding, and research. Assist the Plant Production Supervisor and Manager of Plant Production and Nuisance Animal Control with projects and responsibilities as assigned.

Essential Functions: 

  • Provide proper cultural care for plants in assigned production areas, including potting, growing media preparation, pruning, fertilizing, watering, and irrigation system operation and maintenance.

  • Carry out plant propagation, including seed cleaning and sowing, cutting production, and grafting.

  • Maintain nurseries by performing the following duties: bed preparation, planting, digging, cultivating, mowing, fence maintenance, labeling and inventory.

  • Control weed, insect, animal, and disease problems in greenhouse and nursery production areas using appropriate cultural and chemical control methods.

  • Assist with maintenance of plant production facilities and equipment. Use proper care and storage of plant production tools and equipment.

  • Lead part-time staff and volunteers on projects as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:  Associate’s degree required, Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, greenhouse and nursery management programs preferred. 9+ months of relevant work experience during or following academic training required. In lieu of this, a comparable combination of education, experience or training that would provide the level of knowledge, skills and ability required may qualify an individual. Basic understanding of plant growth and interaction with varying environmental conditions required. Ability to operate machinery and equipment used in nursery and greenhouse management. Must be able to obtain and maintain certification as a pesticide Operator in the State of Illinois, capable of wearing a respirator while working. Must possess a valid driver’s license, which is subject to insurability and an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) report. Basic proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google applications beneficial.

Success Factors:  Ability to work efficiently and be comfortable working independently or as part of a team. Strong attention to detail. Ability to understand plant growth and culture and observe responses to success. Ability to work with and apply pesticides. Physical strength and stamina to perform tasks associated with nursery and greenhouse production. Ability to embrace and operate in line with our employee core values to be inclusive, take ownership, work together, keep learning and make the Arboretum exceptional.

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 regular amount of physical activity: some lifting and carrying (up to 60 lbs. assisted), bending, climbing (up to 8 ft.), pushing, pulling, standing or sitting for prolonged periods, walking, and kneeling. Sense of vision 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 in a combination of indoors and outdoors, sometimes in hot greenhouse environments. 

  • Equipment: General office equipment, typical plant care and growing equipment, greenhouse and environmental controls, hand and power tools, Arboretum pick-up truck and utility cart, commercial riding mower, skid steer tractor, front loader, and PTO equipment.

  • Schedule: Must be able to work occasional weekends and holidays, collectively or in rotation with other employees to maintain plants in production facilities.

All Arboretum employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of that status in order to maintain their employment.

The Morton Arboretum is a champion of 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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