Tree root-ball sitting in planting hole with shovel used to measure depth and width of hole.
Image by Nina Bassuk

Demonstrating depth and width of planting hole.

People viewing annual plant varieties at a floriculture field trial, Bluegrass lane, Cornell University
Image by Jason Koski (UREL)

Floriculture field Day at Bluegrass Lane, Cornell University

Dr. Rossi and student discuss turfgrass quality in a research trial
Image by Justin James Muir

Research Trial at Cornell’s Turf and Landscape Research Center

People gather around to learn about crane removal operations from Mark Chisholm, Aspen Tree Care Company.
Image by Mark Chisholm, Aspen Tree Care Company,

Crane Removal, Aspen Tree Care Company

Commercial Horticulture

Commercial horticulture is the science, art, and business of cultivating ornamental plants. This includes arboriculture (the care of trees), interior-scaping, landscape and turf grass installation and maintenance, and includes the production of related plant material in nurseries, fields and greenhouses.

Well-designed, healthy landscapes that are carefully maintained conserve soil, protect water quality and prevent nutrient run-off. Responsible production practices, both in the greenhouse and in the field ensure that growers protect those same resources.

The commercial horticulture program links green-industry professionals with Cornell University faculty and regional specialists. Our educators bring you up to date research-based information and offer programs where professionals can earn continuing education credits. We'll help you navigate your way to professional certification programs like the NYS DEC pesticide certification program or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification.

Diagnostic Resources

Insect & Plant Disease Diagnostic Labs

Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University: The Insect Diagnostic Lab can help identify insects and related arthropods, and provide management suggestions if needed. There is a $25 fee, for samples or photos submitted to the lab for an ID.

Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic: The Clinic provides fast and accurate plant disease diagnosis and up-to-date pest control recommendations for anyone from home owners to commercial growers. Services include analysis of plant material and soil for bacterial, fungal, viral, and nematode pathogen.

Soil Diagnostics & Labs

Soil Nutrient Analysis

Cornell soil pH test kits: Buy Standard, Wide Range and Low Range soil testing kits online directly from Cornell University.

Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health –The Cornell Framework: Download a free PDF of Version 3.2 or purchase a hard copy.

Soil Arthropod Ecology Lab: Information on soil based arthropods and their role in soil fertility and structure, predation and organic matter decomposition..

Composting, Cornell Waste Management Institute: Provides research-based knowledge on managing organic residuals.

Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities: Soil Contaminants and Safety: A research partnership with New York's urban gardeners that provides information on lead and other contaminants in gardens, farms and other community spaces.

Urban Horticulture Institute: Urban Eden soil demonstrations: Find resources on choosing plants for urban locations, improving sites and transplant practices, and municipal management of urban trees.

Industry Resources

Turf, Landscape & Arboriculture

Greenhouse & Nursery

Christmas Trees

Pest Management Programs & Guidelines

Content compiled by members of the Cornell University Horticulture Program Work Team, 2021.

Last updated December 8, 2023