Display Garden and Bonsai Technician

Hiring Organization: The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
Employment type: Temporary
Job Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Application Deadline: July 21, 2021

Job Summary

The University of Michigan, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum is looking for one full-time temporary (9 month, 2 term limited) Display Garden & Bonsai Technician. This position will report to the Garden Coordinator and will help with the development, maintenance and management of living plant collections, gardens and natural areas to support teaching, research, public outreach, and conservation goals. This position is 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday with occasional weekend and evening responsibilities.


  • Maintaining the Thematic Display Gardens (Gateway, Perennial, Herb & Knot, Medicinal) at Matthaei Botanical Garden consistent with each gardens Collection Management Plan.
  • Assisting with the care and maintenance of the Bonsai and Penjing collection including the Bonsai Garden under guidance of the Garden Coordinator and Bonsai Specialist.
  • Work alone or as part of a team to maintain display gardens, plant specimens and collections of ornamental and native plants: plant, water, fertilize, apply herbicide, pull weeds, spread mulch, rake paths, spring and fall clean up
  • Operate utility vehicles and power equipment: Gators, golf carts, tractors, trailers, trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, and chipper
  • Help with conservatory and greenhouse operations and natural areas management: Indoor watering, cleaning floors, taking out compost, moving plants, operating vents.
  • Remove exotic invasive species and assist with prescribed burns
  • Lead student interns, work-study students, and volunteers
  • Ability to lift or transport up to 40lbs.

Required Qualifications

  • Associate's degree or higher in a related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience in horticulture, gardening, plant care and production or public gardens.
  • Will be asked to work in multiple conditions and tolerate the physical challenges of a garden and greenhouse work environment.
  • A State of Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator's License or willingness to obtain one is required (Matthaei-Nichols provides study materials and may cover certification expenses).
  • Willingness to apply herbicides is necessary.
  • A valid Driver's License and ability to pass a motor vehicle record (MVR) check is required.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with any of the following: native plant gardening, rain garden installation and maintenance, landscaping and landscape architecture.
  • Previous leadership and supervisory experience.

Additional Information

Compensation:  $15 per hour

This temporary position may meet eligibility requirements for health care benefits. For more information, please see the eligibility section for temporary employees here.

For more information about Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, please visit mbgna.umich.edu.