Horticulture

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Over the past decade or so, there a rising demand for locally grown Irish produce. There are a number of reasons for this, including a growing population. In addition, Irish farmers have renewed focus on under-developed crops such as raspberries and herbs. With this there are also increased prospects for careers in horticulture.

Education

Numerous colleges of further education and Teagasc colleges offer Level 5 Certificates in Horticulture. Typical subjects include Landscape Construction, Plant Care & Maintenance, and Soil & Plant Science. Students learn about horticulture aesthetic, scientific, and business practices.

Blanchardstown, Cork, and Waterford Institutes of Technology provide three-year Ordinary Degrees in Horticulture. This is done in partnership with local Teagasc horticultural colleges. Students learn about landscape design, sport turf management, nursery stock maintenance and crop production.

UCD offers a degree in Horticulture, Landscape & Sportsturf Management. You can apply directly or through the Agricultural Science omnibus entry system. DCU also run an Honours-level Horticulture Degree, with frequent periods in the National Botanic Gardens for relevant parts of the syllabus.

The Work

Horticultural work can be roughly divided into the commercial and amenity sectors. The commercial area involves the production of fruits, flowers, plants, and vegetables for retail or production purposes. Amenity horticulture involves the design, construction, and upkeep of gardens and landscapes in private residences and public areas such as parks and country houses. Horticulture often combines working with your hands as well as technical tasks such as temperature control or computer design.

Forestry offers a number of possible careers: managing forests by planning and supervising tasks such as planting and harvesting; providing consultation services to private landowners; researching issues such as forest ecology, function, or conservation; working in the wood manufacturing industry, and so on. Tree surgeons (or ‘arborists’) are responsible for planting and maintaining trees, and are often employed by the local authorities, though they can also operate independently.

Did you know?

A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds (about 18 and a half stone) of oxygen per year, meaning that two adult trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four people!

Further Resources

Coillte – Ireland’s state-owned forestry business: www. coillte. ie
National Botanic Gardens of Ireland: www. botanicgardens. ie
Garden. ie – website for garden lovers: www. garden. ie


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