Duties vary depending on the employment location, but tree farms are one of the major employers in this area. Nursery workers determine varieties and quantities of trees and shrubs and follow planting and care schedules. In the greenhouse they prepare the beds and plant the seedlings. As the plants grow and develop workers must prune, weed, and water them. Caring for trees can also involve staking young saplings, tying and wrapping them, and packing them for transportation, as well as digging up shrubs and trees and moving them from greenhouse to field.
Most farms use some form of pest management system, so the Nursery Worker must develop and implement the plan. This includes identifying and controlling insects, rodents, birds, weeds, and diseases. If pesticides are used, safe handling, storage and disposal practices must be followed. Workers on organic farms must be familiar with organic farming procedures and natural pest control methods.
The horticultural industry often employs large numbers of seasonal workers, so the Nursery Worker may be responsible for supervising these staff in planting, transplanting, pruning, and feeding perennials, shrubs, trees, and seedlings of all types. Staff is often comprised of migrant workers who speak another language, so supervisors must find effective communication methods. On large operations irrigation may be controlled with computer systems, so workers must be proficient in programming and managing these. Nursery workers provide customers with information to help them select and care for trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants. The job can also include record keeping, preparing budgets, development of marketing plans, and preparation of trees and shrubs for sale or shipment.