Know Your Pro
Arizona Certified Landscape Professional (ACLP)
An ACLP certified landscaper has attended courses and passed an examination sponsored by the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association.

Arizona Certified Nursery Professional (ACNP)
An ACNP certified nursery professional has attended courses and passed an examination sponsored by the Arizona Nursery Association.

Certified Arborist
A certified arborist is a tree specialist who has been tested and certified by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Certified Tree Worker
A certified tree worker is trained to prune and care for trees. Certification comes from the International Society of Arboriculture.

Photo credit: Kent Newland

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Desert Landscaper Certification
This certification is sponsored by the Desert Botanical Garden. It is awarded to people who have completed a series of workshops and have passed examinations covering the workshop material.

A horticulturist has had formal training, such as a two-year, four-year or advanced degree in horticulture.

Irrigation Association Certification
The Irrigation Association provides instruction, testing and certification as an irrigation designer, contractor or auditor.

Landscape Architect
A landscape architect usually holds a college degree, has served as an apprentice to a licensed landscape architect and has passed a national exam. Landscape architects are licensed by the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration.

Landscape Consultant
This term is sometimes used by landscape professionals who offer landscape advice. A degree, license or certification is not required.

Landscape Contractor
Landscape contractors install some or all components of the landscape. Some offer design services. Some install irrigation systems. Some landscape contractors also provide landscape maintenance services. They are tested and certified by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors, which requires them to be bonded.

Landscape Designer
As their title indicates, landscape designers offer landscape design services. Although a degree, license or certification is not required, landscape professionals who use this title often possess knowledge, education, training and/or experience in landscape design. A person who is currently serving an apprenticeship under a licensed landscape architect may use this title.

A landscaper offers a variety of landscape services, typically in the areas of installation and maintenance. Licensing and certification are not required.

Master Gardener
Master Gardeners are volunteers who have received specialized training in horticulture from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.

Smartscape Certified
A person who holds Smartscape certification has completed a series of workshops which focus on landscaping practices that are appropriate for the Sonoran Desert. The Smartscape program is sponsored by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Arizona Nursery Association, the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association and Tucson Water.
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