Post details: Locating a Landscaping Pro


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Locating a Landscaping Pro

What type of landscape professional is right for you? Here's a look at who does what and how to choose.

Landscaping ProWho's Who

Landscape architects have gone to school full-time in landscape architecture and have usually taken civil engineering courses. Generally, they work with architects and engineers, do a lot of work for corporations, and may or may not have residential clientele. Because of their training and experience, they're expensive. The acronym ASLA after a name signifies membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Landscape designers are in the price range of most homeowners and often specialize in residential clients. Landscape designers provide homeowners with ideas, create a budget, and do a design for that budget that can be phased in over time. They can also supervise the actual construction of the landscape. The letters APLD after a name signify membership in the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Landscape contractors can provide assistance with design, installation, and maintenance. They may have landscape architects and designers on staff, allowing you to work with a single firm from the initial planning stages to completion of your project. Some contractors are strictly hardscaping people, focusing on installation of paths, walls, and structures.

Landscape gardeners concentrate on a few landscapes over a long period of time. They usually work on private estates or for the National Park Service. These gardeners focus on a garden and live with it, doing all the upkeep, such as replacing shrubs and trees, to keep it healthy and beautiful.

Nursery designers usually create a design using the plants available from their nursery. They may or may not be trained to tell you about your landscape and your soil, but they'll often look at your house and suggest a style of planting that would work best. Nurseries without staff designers can recommend independent landscape designers to the public.

Horticulturists provide consultation on what plants would do well in your particular soil and climate. They can also provide advice for existing plantings, especially those that aren't doing well in their current location.

Arborists, otherwise known as tree doctors, give technical advice about trees, such as whether you should prune a tree or chop it down. Many arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Better Homes and Gardens



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