The Difference between Arboriculture and Horticulture

Stone wall alongside lawn

When someone says the word “landscaping” what do you think of? Beautiful trees, flowers, and plants of all shapes and sizes? Do you ever consider the different jobs that come with landscaping? A person with a green thumb who enjoys working outdoors might appreciate a job as an arborist or a horticulturist. Both jobs involve working with living things, but they each have their differences.


Horticulture is the study of plants. It involves plant cultivation for food, utility, beauty and recreation. A horticulturist is an individual who studies, works with or makes enhancements to the cultivation of flowers and plants for ornamental use. Horticulturists take care of greenery, gardens, golf courses, parks and all other forms of landscaping. They have an expert knowledge on the environment that plants would do best in, the soil that they need to thrive, and how big that plant will be later down the road.


Arboriculture, on the other hand, is the study of trees. An arborist is considered to be an individual who studies trees and the proper ways to take care of them. They are also sometimes called tree surgeons. Arborist’s are needed to evaluate the condition of trees, make recommendations for their care, and provide services to keep them healthy and thriving for years to come. They have a professional knowledge of where to place trees, the correct maintenance that is needed, and how big they will grow within the next 10 years.

Arborists and horticulturists are both related to plants, but their field of study and work differs considerably. At CVTS – Landscaping you will find both ISA Certified Arborists, as well as PA Certified Horticulturists on staff.