What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

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What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

The Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP) program is a voluntary testing program that certifies those in the landscape profession who have mastered a thorough knowledge and understanding of job skills required to be successful in the industry.

The test consists of four written components and eight hands-on components. Applicants are provided a 400+ page printed study manual and access to a internet study site developed by the University of Georgia.

The GCLP program  is endorsed by the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Georgia Turfgrass Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association and officially recognizd by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Written exam components include:

  • A multiple-choice test based on the study manual.
  • A plan reading skill test that requires participants to read and interpret a landscape plan, to answer questions pertaining to the plan, and to make calculations, such as square foot areas, plant quantities per area, etc.
  • A test on common insect, disease and environmental problems. Participants must identify 25 samples (photos or actual specimens).
  • A plant identification test that requires participants to identify fifty plant samples from a list of over 270 provided. Actual samples of trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, herbaceous perennials, annuals, weeds and turfgrasses will be placed on tables for ID.

Hands-on evaluations include:

  • Plan Lay-out: The participant will be given a planting plan and will be required to arrange containerized plants within a given are according to the plan.
  • Tree Planting and Staking: The participant must plant a tree according to specifications provided and show how to install a staking system.
  • Grading and Drainage: The participant must read a topographical map and demonstrate how to contour the grade of a site in a 10 ft. x 10 ft. sand box.
  • Pruning: The participant will show where and how to make pruning cuts and how to prune selected trees and shrubs.
  • Sod Installation: The participant must demonstrate the correct technique for laying sod in a given area.
  • Irrigation Management:  The participant must identify the components of a conventional and low volume landscape irrigation system and demonstrate knowledge of proper operation.
  • Pesticide Application: The participant will demonstrate how to mix and apply pesticides properly and will discuss appropriate clothing to wear during pesticide application. He/she must also be prepared to discuss handling and disposal techniques.
  • Equipment Operation: The participant will discuss routine maintenance practices and proper operation of power equipment.

The written and hands-on exams are offered at least twice a year. The written components are given at the annual conference of the Georgia Green Industry Association in January and in the Atlanta area in August. The hands-on components are given spring and fall at the UGA Research and Education Gardens in Griffin.

15 hours of Continuing Education Units are required every three years to remain certified.

For information about testing dates and locations and testing fees, contact Kimberly Allen with the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture at 770-233-6107; e-mail khayes@uga.edu

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