Residential Landscape Technician Diploma

RESIDENTIAL LANDSCAPE TECHNICIAN DIPLOMA


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This part time diploma program covers information required for employment as a residential landscaper, including business fundamentals. It is industry approved and developed in cooperation with the BC Landscape and Nursery Association and also prepares participants to write the Landscape Industry Certified Technician and the Provincial Trades Qualifications Exam.

This program will be of interest to those considering a career in the landscape industry, are starting their own business in the landscape industry, or are currently in the industry and wish to update their knowledge and provide more comprehensive services.

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Topics covered include:

  • Ornamental plants
  • Irrigation
  • Plant identification
  • Plant installation
  • Soils
  • Design fundamentals
  • Grading and drainage
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Turf
  • Pruning
  • Integrated pest management
  • Business fundamentals

Participants can complete this program on a part-time basis in two semesters of 9 weeks each; the semesters are scheduled for September-December and January-March.


PREREQUISITES

Students should meet all the following prerequisites before registering:

  • Proficiency in English
  • Students must arrange their own transportation to off-site events

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

To graduate, students must meet all the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of all assignments and quizzes
  • Attendance in at least 90% of classes

FUTURE EMPLOYMENT

Graduates of this program can find employment in the professional landscape industry or start their own landscape business.


COURSE OUTLINES

COURSE OUTLINE FOR STUDENTS STARTING IN THE FALL SEMESTER

Semester I

  • Ornamental Plants In The Landscape
  • Plant ID I – Annuals
  • Botany – Plant structure and chemistry
  • Plant ID II – Perennials
  • Soils I – Soil texture, structure, fertility, pH and how they relate to plant health
  • Plant ID III – Deciduous trees & shrubs I
  • Soils II – Soil tests, amendments, mulches, cultural practices and how they relate to plant health
  • Plant ID IV – Deciduous Trees and Shrubs II
  • Grading & Drainage – Causes and control of grading, drainage and erosion problems
  • Plant ID V – Vines and ground covers
  • Turf I – Characteristics and cultural needs of the most common West Coast turf grasses, turf establishment
  • Turf II – Lawn maintenance, disease, weed and pest control (IPM)
  • Integrated Pest Management I – Principles and practices of IPM
  • Integrated Pest Management II – Principles and practices of IPM
  • Irrigation Basics – Irrigation scheduling
  • Irrigation Lab – Basic irrigation system installation and repair, sprinkler head adjustment
Semester II

  • Plant Installation – Site layout, calculating plant requirements, planting & staking, special environmental conditions such as high water tables, compacted soils, prevailing winds, etc
  • Plant Installation Lab – Site layout and planting
  • Design Fundamentals I – Elements of landscape design, site analysis
  • Landscape Maintenance – Evaluation and scheduling of landscape maintenance
  • Design Fundamentals II – Step-by-step design process
  • Site Plan Lab – Measurement & collection of data for site plan
  • Business Fundamentals I – Legal issues affecting the landscape business, such as WCB, Labour standards, bonding, insurance, liens, etc.
  • Plant ID VI – Evergreen Trees & Shrubs I
  • Business Fundamentals II – Estimating I
  • Plant ID VII – Evergreen Trees & Shrubs II
  • Business Fundamentals III – Estimating II
  • Business Fundamentals IV – Contracts
  • Pruning I – Tree physiology, pruning methods and their effect on trees, specialty pruning
  • Pruning II Lab – Pruning of ornamental trees, shrubs and hedges; students must bring their own bypass pruners
  • Plant ID VIII – Bulbs and plant ID review

COURSE OUTLINE FOR STUDENTS STARTING IN THE WINTER SEMESTER

Semester I

  • Ornamental Plants In The Landscape – Suitability of plants for a variety of environments & landscape uses
  • Soils I – Soil texture, structure, fertility, pH and how they relate to plant health
  • Botany – Nomenclature, plant structure and chemistry
  • Soils II – Soils tests, amendments, mulches, cultural practices and how they relate to plant health
  • Grading & Drainage – Causes and control of grading, drainage and erosion problems
  • Plant ID I – Bulbs
  • IPM I – Principles and practices of Integrated Pest Management
  • IPM II – Principles and practices of Integrated Pest Management
  • Pruning I – Tree physiology, pruning methods and their effect on trees, specialty pruning
  • Pruning II – Lab – Pruning of ornamental trees, shrubs and hedges; students must bring their own bypass pruners
  • Irrigation Basics – Irrigation scheduling
  • Plant ID II – Evergreen trees and shrubs I
  • Irrigation Lab – – Basic irrigation system installation and repair, sprinkler head adjustment
  • Plant ID III – Evergreen trees and shrubs II
  • Business Fundamentals I – WCB, Labour Standards, bonding, insurance, liens
  • Plant ID IV – Vines and ground covers
Semester II

  • Plant Installation – Site layout, calculating plant requirements, planting & Staking, special environmental conditions such as high water tables, compacted soils, prevailing winds, etc
  • Plant ID V – Annuals
  • Turf I – Characteristics and cultural needs of the most common West Coast turf grasses, turf establishment
  • Plant ID VI – Perennials
  • Turf II
  • Plant ID VII – Deciduous trees and shrubs
  • Design Fundamentals I – Elements of landscape design, site analysis
  • Plant ID VIII – Deciduous trees and shrubs II
  • Design Fundamentals II – Step-by-step design process
  • Landscape Maintenance – Evaluation and scheduling of landscape maintenance
  • Business Fundamentals II – Estimating I
  • Business Fundamentals III – Estimating II
  • Plant Installation – Lab – Site layout and planting
  • Business Fundamentals IV – Contracts

INSTRUCTORS

Julia Alards-Tomalin
Julia has studied Forest Ecosystems and Ecological Restoration at BCIT and has also received training in Ecological Landscape Design from Gaia College. She runs her own ecological restoration business, specializing in re-establishment of native plants in sensitive habitats such as estuaries and stream banks. In addition to field work, she enjoys teaching part-time and public speaking on various environmental topics when she has the opportunity.

Lauren Kenny
I began my career working in the Trees and Shrubs department of a large retail nursery where I taught information seminars, pruned young trees, constructed displays and helped customers with their questions and purchases. Since then I’ve received my Red Seal Certification in Landscape Horticulture from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and have been maintaining gardens on large Vancouver estates experimenting with tropical plants and creating showy annual displays. Over the years I have worked with multiple landscape companies largely complying with organic principles. I have worked as crew leader, interacted with clients, performed garden installations, worked with wholesale nurseries and treated pest and disease issues. I have assisted with the installation of a green roof and worked as a woofer learning permaculture practices on an organic farm in Hawaii.

Shannon Mendes
Shannon is an innovative landscape designer based in Vancouver. Her designs emphasize low-impact, regenerative techniques that prioritize soil health, canopy health, rainwater use, biodiversity, natural cycles, food security, climate change resiliency and social well-being. In addition to her design work, Shannon has experience working in nurseries, silviculture and as a landscape horticulturalist. Shannon is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Society for Organic Land Care (S.O.U.L.). She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, a Diploma in Organic Land Care from Gaia College, and a Certificate in Permaculture Design from UBC.


STUDENT FEEDBACK

We are the largest landscape company in BC and are great supporters of the Residential Landscape Technician Diploma program. It is a great way to learn the foundation theory of horticulture, while being able to work full time.Jeff Foley, Para Space Landscape Company
I have never been in a class with such a cool group of students in my life and feel such a great bond with so many of you all. … I have never had such a great and nice and knowledgeable instructor in all the years I have studied. You are such a great instructor and such a charismatic person who is always smiling. Jeff
Your course was an excellent all-around guide to running an effective business and I took away all that I needed to be a success!Simone Gingras-Fox, Owner of Tea Tree Gardens Ltd
I am now more interested and knowledgeable about plants and organic matter than I would have ever imagined. I loved every moment of this course. It is a wonderful program.
I am a former graduate of the RLT program and now the primary operator of a successful landscape company. We encourage all our staff to further their knowledge through the RLT program.Derrick Ulain, Anderson Garden Services
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