The Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist program serves MNLA members by providing opportunities to increase knowledge and promote best practices across the green industry. MCH certification is available to any qualified nursery, landscape or “green industry” professional who agrees to our code of ethics and completes an application for certification. This credential is earned by passing, with successful scores, a multiple choice written exam and a Plant ID exam. We provide all the study materials you need.
This credential requires both study and experience on a wide range of topics, including:
The MCH designation provides credibility that helps customers choose who to work with in an industry with a wide range of skills and competencies. An MCH must commit to continuous education to learn the latest industry developments, newest products, and best practices. They go the extra mile to make sure their customers are successful.
“The customer quickly realizes that, as an MCH, I bring a number of talents to the table. This is an advantage which becomes very useful in crafting a comprehensive approach to managing their landscapes.”
—Charles Scherzi, Jr., MCH
As a landscape contractor, retail or wholesale nursery, grounds maintenance service or landscape designer, the MCH program gives you the ability to quickly and definitively show prospective customers that you have qualified staff and you are a qualified, professional company.
“My clients trust me. As an MCH, I am not only giving them the benefit of my horticultural knowledge and experience; but that the services that I am offering them are both honest and fairly priced. I see the MCH continually elevating the bar across the industry.”
—Charles Scherzi, Jr., MCH
Applicants must have a minimum of three years full-time employment in the industry, or two years of experience plus an Associate’s Degree or higher in horticulture or a related field.
This credential is earned by passing, with successful scores, a multiple choice written exam and a Plant ID exam. Preparation for the exam is facilitated by a self-study program provided in the MNLA Resource Guide. The Guide covers a wide range of nursery, landscape, tree, lawn, insect, chemical, and environmental topics. The cost of the Guide is $79 for MNLA members and $99 for non-members.
Please note: Each individual who registers for the MCH Exam must purchase their own copy of the MNLA Resource Guide. Furthermore, your "Book Identification Number" from your exclusive copy must be included in your MCH Exam application. To purchase a copy of the MNLA Resource Guide, click here.
The MCH Exam consists of two parts: the first is a 150 question multiple-choice test. The second is a plant identification test. A grade of 70% or above is required on each section of the exam in order to achieve certification. The exam is offered twice each year, usually in February and August. The exam fee is $55 for MNLA members and $75 for non-members.
Check our event calendar frequently for the next available exam.
Professionals who receive this credential must earn annual continuing education credits in order retain the MCH status.
“Working in a country club/golf course atmosphere, my boss relies on me to make intelligent and timely decisions as to when to trim along the fairway, or when to spray for wooly Adelgid, B leaf Miner, or even something simple but important, like checking soil PH/nutrient levels in the many gardens.”
—Daniel Zima, MCH
For several years, the MCH community specifically asked for a brochure to explain why it makes sense for consumers to work with a certified professional. We’ve responded with a trifold hand-out, Ask an MCH Brochure.
The Let’s Get Noticed Challenge is an opportunity for you to make a difference by including the brochures in your business proposals, as a hand-out to potential clients, or in a display at the Garden Center.
Emeritus status allows MCH’s to continue to use their designation(s) upon retirement from the profession without having to recertify on a yearly basis.
MCH individuals may request emeritus status if they are age 55 or above and/or are retiring from the green industry and maintained certification for at least ten (10) years prior to retirement. MCH’s who intend to continue working in the green industry (perhaps as a consultant or lecturer) are not considered retired and are not eligible for emeritus status.
To request emeritus status, please complete the form online (MCH Emeritus Request) outlining your intent to retire to the MNLA office, attention MCH Board, and include documentation of age (a copy of one’s driver’s license is sufficient). The letter (which may be e-mailed, mailed or faxed) must include your name, designation(s) and retirement date.
MCH individuals awarded emeritus statuses with the exception of hardship are expected to attend at least one (1) MNLA event each calendar year to maintain their certification.
The processing fee is a one- time fee of $89.00 which will be contributed to the continuation of the MCH program.
MNLA offers reciprocity with other state associations in the green industry. If you hold a current horticulture certification from another state, please click here to inquire via email.
Plant Something MA is a project of MNLA which includes professional environmental horticulturists—people who grow, care for, design and install plantings and landscapes in your community.
Growing Wild helps reverse the loss of biological diversity, foster and protect endangered species and add to the natural beauty of our Commonwealth—right in your own backyard.
MNLA provides access to green industry speakers on the cutting-edge and up-to-date information. Our dynamic community is made up of folks from all walks of life. Colleagues share advice and insights. Passion for the betterment of our community drives member participation in MNLA. Individual contribution is valued. Get involved! Join a committee or volunteer at an event. Make our industry—and your business—better!