Manager of Horticulture and Curator of Collections and Conservation

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Professional and Managerial Group

Manager of Horticulture and Curator of Collections and Conservation

The Arboretum

Hiring #: 2022-0222

Please read the Application Instructions before applying

The University of Guelph Arboretum is an internationally accredited arboretum with a mission to conserve biodiversity and connect people to nature through teaching, research, and outreach. Established in 1970, The Arboretum has matured to a treasured resource for campus and community, bringing a strong emphasis on collection and conservation of native Ontario woody plants of known wild provenance. Learn more at:

The Arboretum is accepting applications for Manager of Horticulture and Curator of Collections and Conservation. This position leads the curation, development, and maintenance of the living collections, including plant conservation and research-related collections, and ensures day-to-day operations related to arboriculture, horticulture, collections, grounds maintenance, and facilities. The Manager leads a core skilled team, including roles covering horticulture and plant records; GIS, equipment and trails; gardens; and our propagation greenhouse and nursery. The Manager works closely with the Director in strategic planning and visioning, and collaborates as a member of the Arboretum Management Group. This position participates in community engagement with our volunteer auxiliary and annual events, and liaises with campus units and external parties on ongoing activities and new initiatives in the Arboretum.

Responsibilities include:

  • Providing leadership, co-ordination, and planned development for plant collections, including botanical collections, plant conservation programs, botanical education, natural lands management, and plant records and inventory.
  • Curation and on-going maintenance of the plant collections, ensuring plant acquisitions and planting scheduling, and maintaining/developing plant materials in the collections; the on-going maintenance, care, and development of plant conservation programs.
  • Overseeing the consistent application of field provenance verification and plant identification, while ensuring the botanical collection inventory is revised and updated.
  • Serving as a subject matter expert at the Arboretum and the University on planting, plant disease, insect damage recognition and treatment, pruning, plant replacement and woody plant propagation/care.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities related to general site operations, including the grounds, plant propagation, nursery facilities as well as annually planning for species selection, location and maintenance.
  • Responsible for the budget for horticultural operations and grounds maintenance, including supplies, equipment, and staffing.
  • Represents the Arboretum on various internal (U of G) and external committees and groups and builds relationships with partners and stakeholders.
  • Lead tours and advanced horticulture-related workshops for the general public and liaises with donors and volunteers.
  • May also give guest lectures and labs in undergraduate courses, as well as provide expertise to researchers (including undergraduates, graduates, faculty and staff) using the plant collections.


  • Knowledge of modern international curatorial standards of botanical gardens and arboreta, and the literature of spontaneous and cultivated woody plants required.
  • Knowledge of field botany, plant families and relationships, taxonomy, international code of nomenclature for plants, and the Ontario flora, with the ability to identify plants to species level on sight, with particular expertise in woody plants of Ontario.
  • Advanced practical experience in plant acquisition, tree care and propagation, and botanical collection development and management.
  • Experience in greenhouse and nursery operations specifically in propagating woody plants.
  • Ability to identify major plant diseases and insect pests, and knowledge of standards and experience in integrated pest management.
  • Familiarity with computing and social media (Word, Excel, Teams, Zoom), as well as specific programs Iris-BG, GIS (Geographic Information System), GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies.
  • Exceptional leadership, management and communication skills and ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment.
  • Excellent organization and observation skills with strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. With an ability to communicate through formal programs, as well as informally.
  • Undergraduate degree – academic training in botany, biology, plant sciences, arboriculture, horticulture, or similar area, (or relevant experience).
  • Four years relevant experience in tree care and propagation, botanical/arboreal collection development and/or horticultural management.
  • ISA certified arborist.
  • Must be able to work outdoors year-round under a variety of weather conditions and must hold a valid driver’s license.


  • Current membership in relevant specialty organizations related to native plants, ecological restoration, botany, horticulture, and arboriculture.
  • Chainsaw, Integrated Pest Management, and Seed Collection certification.
  • Project management.

This position requires physical work: standing, bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching, reaching, carrying, lifting, pushing, or pulling of objects up to 80 pounds.

Position Number         136-014
Classification               P05
Professional/Managerial Salary Bands

At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

Posting Date: 2022 05 09  
Closing Date: 2022 06 06 (extended)