Horticulture - Areas of Study

Areas of Study

According to some accounts, horticulture involves eight areas of study, which can be grouped into two broad sections - ornamentals and edibles:

  • Arboriculture is the study of, and the selection, planting, care, and removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
  • Turf management includes all aspects of the production and maintenance of turf grass for sports, leisure use or amenity use.
  • Floriculture includes the production and marketing of floral crops.
  • Landscape horticulture includes the production, marketing and maintenance of landscape plants.
  • Olericulture includes the production and marketing of vegetables.
  • Pomology includes the production and marketing of pome fruits.
  • Viticulture includes the production and marketing of grapes.
  • Oenology includes all aspects of wine and winemaking.
  • Postharvest physiology involves maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of horticultural crops.

Horticulturists can work in industry, government or educational institutions or private collections. They can be cropping systems engineers, wholesale or retail business managers, propagators and tissue culture specialists (fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and turf), crop inspectors, crop production advisers, extension specialists, plant breeders, research scientists, and teachers.

Disciplines which complement horticulture include permaculture, biology, botany, entomology, chemistry, geography, mathematics, genetics, physiology, statistics, computer science, communications, garden design, and planting design. Plant science and horticulture courses include: plant materials, plant propagation, tissue culture, crop production, post-harvest handling, plant breeding, pollination management, crop nutrition, entomology, plant pathology, economics, and business. Some careers in horticultural science require a masters (MS) or doctoral (PhD) degree.

Horticulture is practiced in many gardens, "plant growth centres" and nurseries. Activities in nurseries range from preparing seeds and cuttings to growing fully mature plants. These are often sold or transferred to ornamental gardens or market gardens.

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