Horticulturist vs arborist

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Horticulturist and arborist are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the meanings of the words horticulturist and arborist, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A horticulturist is someone who is trained in and practices the art and science of cultivating plants, trees, shrubs and grasses for their beauty or for human consumption. Areas of interest for a horticulturist are garden design, plant propagation, and increasing insect resistance, yields and nutritional value. The term horticulturist is derived from the word horticulture, coined from the Latin word hortus meaning garden, and the suffix -ist which means one who does or one who makes.

An arborist is someone who is trained in the study of trees, and is sometimes known as a tree surgeon. An arborist is concerned with structural problems in trees, how a tree should be pruned, which species of tree will thrive in a given location and diseases of trees. Generally, an arborist focuses on individual trees, while someone who manages the health of entire forests is called a silviculturist. The word arborist is derived from the Latin word arbor which means tree, and the suffix -ist.


Tom Rapp – who has most recently served in what he called a “dual role” as city horticulturist and arborist – confirmed with the Aiken Standard this week that Tuesday will be his last day with the City. (The Aiken Standard)

German horticulturist and town planner Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, who succeeded Cameron as the first director of Lalbagh in 1908, lived there with his English wife Kate Clara and three daughters — Hilda, Frida and Vera. (The Economic Times)

Being an arborist is one of the more dangerous jobs in the world, and it’s pretty easy to make big mistakes. (The Chicago Reader)