Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry Major

As of Fall 2022, this major is no longer accepting new students. It has been discontinued and absorbed into the Plant Sciences major as an area of specialization.

This major is designed for students who are interested in studying the ways that plants improve our everyday lives. Plants play many roles in human environments. In addition to beautifying indoor and outdoor areas, they control erosion, reduce energy and water consumption, and revegetate and restore destroyed landscapes.

The Program. Students majoring in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry learn how plants improve the environment and the quality of our lives. The major focuses on the biological and physical concepts and horticultural principles of plant production, management of plants and plant ecosystems in landscape settings and sociological aspects of plant/people interactions in the urban environment. Plants are used to revegetate and restore disturbed landscapes, control erosion and reduce energy and water consumption. The ornamental use of plants to improve the aesthetic quality of urban and rural landscapes, recreational areas, interiorscapes and commercial sites is an important aspect of this major. Students may select one or more of the following three areas of specialization: Floriculture/Nursery, Plant Biodiversity/Restoration, or Urban Landscape Management.

Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry is a diverse field including Ornamental Horticulture, Landscape Horticulture, Floriculture, Nursery Management, Plant Biodiversity, and Urban Forestry.  Students can study greenhouse and nursery crop production, postharvest handling of cut flowers and foliage plants, landscape tree maintenance, turf management, plant propagation, and restoration of plant communities in disturbed sites.  Courses are also offered in other departments on campus (e.g. Landscape Architecture, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Environmental Science and Policy) to complete and broaden the student's education.  The Bachelor of Science Degree from UC Davis provides the student with the necessary background to understand and apply the concepts, principles, and methods of plant biology and ecology.  The "principles" approach to our courses prepares the student to understand, investigate and solve challenging problems, and prepares them to successfully pursue environmental horticultural careers in the private and public sectors and/or to pursue advanced degrees in plant sciences, horticulture, or related disciplines.

Students graduating with a major in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry will possess:

  • a basic knowledge of the principles and practices of plant growth, development, production and utilization.
  • an understanding of environmental planning and landscape management processes involving plants and people in urban and natural settings.
  • a basic understanding of the interrelationships among the various components of the managed landscape ecosystem, including plants, people, animals, soil, water, air, and microorganisms.

Internships and Career Opportunities. Students are encouraged to develop internships on or off campus to augment their activities in the classroom and laboratory. Internships are available with the department's greenhouse facility, the UC Davis Arboretum, landscape designers, local nurseries, government agencies, regional non-profits, and restoration firms. Career opportunities in this field include growing and/or managing plants in a variety of settings, including nurseries and arboreta, consulting as an arborist, or as an urban, landscape, or restoration horticulturist; business ownership; park management and landscape contracting; working in the public or private sector, or for non-profit organizations.

Major Advisor

Please contact plsadvising@ucdavis.edu
1220 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building

Faculty Advisor

Dan Potter