Residential Landscape Technician Diploma

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
OverviewDetailsPre-requisitesGrad requirementsFuture employmentInstructor biosPictures & student comments
imageThis 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
  • Those starting their own business in the landscape industry
  • Those currently in the industry who wish to update their knowledge and provide more comprehensive services

imageTopics 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.

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
Students should meet the following prerequisites before registering:

  • Proficiency in English
  • Students must arrange their own transportation to off-site events
To graduate, students must meet all the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of all assignments and quizzes
Graduates of this program can find employment in the professional landscape industry or start their own landscape business.
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.


Catherine Dale

Catherine completed my Journeyman certification in Landscape Horticulture in the early 1990’s. After a decade of maintenance work in the industry, she started to wonder about just how educated she was. I was treating the symptoms, not the cause of the sick landscapes she was “caring” for. She wanted to work with nature and organic principles, not be at war with the garden. Time for an awakening!

In partnership with the Burnaby School District, she teaches Gaia College’s Organic Master Gardener program. She also instructs Plant Knowledge for Organic Gardeners and guest lectures in the Ecological Landscape Design program. These 3 courses are designed for professional and home gardeners to learn how to manage the landscape in an environmentally friendly way.

Catherine also teaches the Residential Landscape Technician program at Community & Continuing Education for the Burnaby School District. She has taught this entry-level program to landscapers for the past 17 years.

She is an instructor for the Horticulture Basics program offered by the BC Landscape and Nursery Association, preparing and presenting entry-level information to new landscape employees across the province.

Catherine also instructs modules in the Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship program for Levels 1 & 2. Graduates of this program become trades certified in Landscape Horticulture, a red seal program.

In 2004, Catherine received the “Educator of the Year” award from the BC Landscape and Nursery Association. In 2006, she was honoured with the City of Burnaby’s Environmental Award for work at the Eagles Estate heritage garden on the shores of Deer Lake.

Catherine became SOUL certified in Organic Landcare in 2005. She looks forward to serving on the board of SOUL where her goal is to take Organic Landcare into the landscaping industry through education and certification.

Other Qualifications:

  • Instructor at Capilano College’s Horticulture program in 2005-2006 teaching Soils and Integrated Pest Management
  • Over 30 years of experience in the horticulture industry, working for several municipalities, golf courses, private gardens, restoring heritage gardens and organically managing the GVRD’s compost demonstration garden
  • Worked as head gardener on the mainland for the Land Conservancy restoring historical and cultural gardens
  • Completed the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma in Adult Education
  • Involved with the Communities in Bloom program
Comments from previous students:

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.December 2016
I appreciate the first-hand knowledge of theinstructor. The information felt like insider information.December 2016
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 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
Catherine is a legend, patient and understanding. If all teachers were as good as Catherine, the world would be a better place.
Good eye opener to better gardening methods.

Graduates

Registration