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Landscape Plants: Identification, Selection, and Application


Course Code: AL0201WA21

Landscape Design Training: Plant Identification & Selection

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Date & Time

Last Held: January 8 - March 12, 2021
Class sessions are held every Friday morning for ten weeks
9:00am - 10:30am EST (Log in time: 8:30am EST)

Next offering tentatively planned for January - March 2022. Registration will open when course dates are confirmed.

**PLEASE NOTE: You will need to upload a photo ID before the class. You will be sent an email approximately one week prior to the class with instructions. If you cannot upload the ID, you will NOT be able to attend.


Shared by Students:

"The education to help you succeed. I will use it when I meet with clients."
-- E. Cerino, Owner, Smiley's Lawn Care & Landscaping

"[He] has forgotten more about landscaping plants than I will ever know!"
-- M. Booth, Co-owner, Booth Brothers Landscaping, on instructor Steve Kristoph

Take our fun plant ID quiz to test your knowledge of landscape plants!

Are you ready to up your game? If you work with plants, you need to look smart doing it - and the best way to look smart is to know what they are, where to find them, and how to use them. This class will teach you more than you ever knew about landscape plants, and you'll love every minute of it!

In this ten-week online course, Steven Kristoph and Derron Dover will teach you two vital skills that all plant lovers and managers should master:

  • The ability to identify landscape plants on the properties you manage
  • Expanding your palette of plants to select the right plant for the right site and the right purpose

This course will cover a variety of different kinds of landscape plants, including shade trees, ornamental small trees, conifers, needle evergreens, broadleaf evergreens, rhododendrons and their kin, flowering shrubs, groundcover options, and rariflora. A full list is available below.

Whether you're a landscaping professional or just a person who loves plants, this class is for you. Sign up today!

Interested in earning a Landscape Certificate?
This is a required course for the Rutgers Landscape Management II Certificate program.

We recommend that you enroll in Introduction to Plant Identification prior to attending this program

Plant Species Covered in this Course

Over the 10 sessions of this class, you will become familiar with over 200 plant species including shade trees, conifers, ornamental small trees, broadleaf evergreens, rhododendrons, deciduous shrubs and vines, groundcovers, and rariflora. A detailed list is available below!

Shade Trees
  • Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
  • Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
  • River Birch (Betula nigra)
  • Paper Birch, Canoe Birch (Betula papyrifera)
  • European Birch (Betula pendula)
  • Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
  • American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
  • European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
  • Weeping European Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula')
  • White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
  • Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Sweetgum (Liquidamber syraciflua)
  • Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Amur Cork Tree (Phellodendron amurense)
  • London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
  • Sawtooth Oak (Quercus accutissima)
  • White Oak (Quercus alba)
  • Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
  • Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
  • Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
  • Golden Weeping Willow (Salix alba tristis)
  • Japanese Pagoda Tree (Styphnolobium japonicum)
  • Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)
  • Silver Linden (Tilia tomentosa)
  • Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)

Fir, Cedar, Spruce, and Pine Trees
  • White Fir (Abies concolor)
  • Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)
  • Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca')
  • Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)
  • Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
  • Japanese Cryptomeria (Cryptomeria japonica)
  • Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
  • White Spruce (Picea glauca)
  • Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica')
  • Serbian Spruce (Picea omerika)
  • Blue Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens 'Glauca')
  • Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens)
  • Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  • Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
  • White Pine (Pinus strobus)
  • Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora)
  • Himalayan Pine (Pinus wallichiana)
  • Lacebark Pine (Pinus bungeana)
  • Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)
  • Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergiana)
  • Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

Ornamental Small Trees
  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Threadleaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum)
  • Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)
  • Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
  • Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
  • Pink Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida rubra)
  • Japanese Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
  • Rutgers Hybrid Dogwoods (Cornus x Stellar Series)
  • Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
  • Star Magnolia (Magnolia kobus var. stellata)
  • Tea Crabapple (Malus hupehensis)
  • Japanese Crabapple (Malus floribunda)
  • Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan')
  • Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula')
  • Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford')

Ornamental Small Trees - East Meets West
  • Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
  • American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)
  • Upright European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata')
  • Cockspur Hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)
  • Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)
  • Winter King Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis 'Winter King')
  • Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha)
  • Common Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
  • Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis)
  • Hybrid Witchhazel (Hamamelis x intermedia)
  • Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteda paniculata)
  • Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
  • Sorrel Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum)
  • Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia Pseudo-camellia)
  • Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)

Lesser Conifers
  • Hinoki Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)
  • Compact Hinoki Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Compacta')
  • Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
  • Threadleaf Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera')
  • Golden Threadleaf Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea')
  • Dwarf Gold Mop Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea Nana')
  • Leyland Cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii)
  • American Arborvitae (Thuja occiqentalis)
  • Oriental Arborvitae (Thuja orientalis)
  • Pfitzer Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Pfitzeriana')
  • Compact Pfitzer Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Pfitzeriana Compacta')
  • Hetz Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Hetzii')
  • Spiny Greek Juniper (Juniperus chinensis 'Pyramidalis')
  • Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
  • Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata)
  • Cap Yew (Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata')
  • Dense Yew (Taxus x media 'Densiformis')
  • Spreading English Yew (Taxus baccata 'Repandens')

Deciduous Conifers

  • European Larch (Larix decidua)
  • Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
  • Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Broadleaf Evergreens
  • Japanese Aucuba (Aucuba japonica)
  • Wintergreen Barberry (Berberis julianae)
  • Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)
  • English Holly (llex aquifolium)
  • Chinese Holly (llex cornuta)
  • Nellie Stevens Holly (llex x 'Nellie R. Stevens')
  • Japanese Holly (llex crenata)
  • Convexleaf Holly (llex crenata 'Convexa')
  • Heller Holly ( llex crenata 'Helleri')
  • Beehive Holly (llex crenata 'Beehive')
  • lnkberry Holly (llex glabra)
  • Meserve Hybrid Hollies (llex x meserveae)
  • American Holly (llex opaca)
  • Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
  • Oregon Grapeholly Mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium)
  • Leatherleaf Mahonia (Mahonia bealei)
  • Japanese Skimmia (Skimmia japonica)
  • Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)
  • Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllym)
  • Adams-Needle Yucca (Yucca filimentosa)
  • Weakleaf Yucca (Yucca flaccida)

Rhododendron and Their Kin
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
  • Drooping Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)
  • Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica)
  • Catawba Rhododendron (Rhododendron catawbiense)
  • Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)
  • Snow Azalea (Rhododendron mucronatum)
  • Kurume Azalea (Rhododendron obtusum)
  • PJM Rhododendron (Rhododendron PJM)

Deciduous Shrubs and Vines
  • Glossy Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)
  • Rock Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)
  • Winged Euonymus (Euonymus alatus)
  • Compact Winged Euonymus or Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus 'Compactus')
  • Border Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)
  • Winterberry Holly (llex verticillata)
  • Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Crepe-myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
  • Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Korean Spice Viburnum (Viburnum carlesii)
  • Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilitatum)
  • Double File Viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum)
  • Japanese Creeper (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
  • Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
  • Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
  • Clematis (Clematis x hybrids)

  • Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans)
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
  • Crownvetch (Coronilla varia)
  • Rock Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)
  • Bearberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri)
  • Barrenwort (Epimedium spp.)
  • Purpleleaf Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei 'Coloratus')
  • Sweet Woodruff (Gallium odorata)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix var. baltica)
  • Bird's Foot Ivy (Hedera helix var. pedata)
  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.)
  • Hostas (Hosta spp.)
  • Candytuft (lberis sempervirens)
  • Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)
  • Andorra Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis cv. plumosus)
  • Bar Harbor Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis cv. Bar Harbor)
  • Waukegan Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis cv. douglasi)
  • Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis cv. wiltoni)
  • Sargent's Juniper (Juniperus chinensis sargentii)
  • Shore Juniper (Juniperus conferta)
  • Tam Juniper (Juniperus sabina tamariscifolia)
  • Big Blue Lily-Turf (Liriope muscari)
  • Hall's Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica 'Halliana')
  • Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)
  • Ground Phlox (Phlox subulata)
  • Gold Moss Stone Crop (Sedum acre)
  • Two Row Stone Crop (Sedum spurium)
  • Thyme (Thymus spp.)
  • Periwinkle (Vinca minor)

  • Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
  • David's Maple (Acer davidii)
  • Fullmoon Maple (Acer japonicum)
  • Nikko Maple (Acer maximowiczianum)
  • Korean Maple (Acer pseudosieboldianum)
  • Snakebark Maple (Acer rufinerve)
  • Manchu-striped Maple (Acer tegmentosum)
  • Beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.)
  • Japanese Hornbeam (Carpinus cordata)
  • Chinese Toon Tree (Cedrela sinensis)
  • Harlequin Glorybower (Clerodendron trichotomum)
  • Japanese Clethra (Clethra barbinervis)
  • Cinnamon Clethra (Clethra acuminata)
  • Daphne (Daphne spp.)
  • Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata)
  • Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
  • Disanthus cercidifolius
  • Redveined Enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus)
  • White Enkianthus (Enkianthus perulatus)
  • Dwarf Bottlebrush (Fothergilla gardenii)
  • Large Bottlebrush (Fothergilla major)
  • Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina)
  • Virginia Sweetspire (ltea virginica)
  • Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica)
  • Oriental Photinia (Photinia villosa)
  • Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis)
  • Epaulette Tree (Pterostryrax hispidus)
  • Umbrella Pine (Sciadopytis verticillata)
  • Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus)
  • Sapphireberry (Symplocos paniculata)
  • Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum piperitum)
  • Dusty Zenobia (Zenobia pulverulenta)
  • California Incense Cedar (Libocedrus decurrens)


The January 8 - March 12, 2021 offering of this course was approved for the following credits. We will reapply for similar credits the next time the course runs, but we cannot guarantee credit approval for future offerings.

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive recertification credits for any of our online courses, you will need to upload a photo ID and your license number before the class. You will be sent an email approximately one week prior to the class with instructions. If you do not upload this information, you will NOT be able to attend.

NJ Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) Credits
8 Technical

NJ Licensed Tree Experts
14.5 CEUs for LTE and LTCO

NJ Urban and Community Forestry (NJUCF) Continuing Education Units
14 CEUs

International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Credits

Who Should Attend this Landscape Plants Training Course

Whether working with plants is your profession or your personal passion, this course will provide you with practical knowledge that you can apply to all of your landscape plans and projects! Even if you've "been in the business" for years, you’ll walk away with new information and insights. Here are some of the types of people who have taken Landscape Plants: Identification, Selection and Application in the past:

  • Landscape Architects
  • Landscape Contractors
  • Landscape Designers
  • Landscape Managers/Foremen
  • Landscape Superintendents
  • Landscape Professionals
  • Groundskeepers
  • Garden Designers
  • Horticultural Enthusiasts
  • Master Gardeners
  • Nursery Professionals
  • Property Managers
  • Sales Representatives
  • Homeowners
Student Reviews of the Plant Identification, Selection and Application Course

"The education to help you succeed. I will use it when I meet with clients."
-- E. Cerino, Owner, Smiley's Lawn Care & Landscaping

"This class changed my life, loved it."

"This course is excellent. I've learned more in a few weeks than I have in years of landscaping."

"Awesome class. I will send future employees here who need plant knowledge."

"This class was highly inspirational. It completely changed the way I look at trees and plants."

"I will use everything learned in this class both for work and personal plantings."

"[I learned] how to properly identify plants [and recognize] problems with plants. I will use this to educate my clients and grow the quality of my business."

Meet the Instructional Team that will Teach You How to Identify Plants for Your Landscape

According to one recent student, "All of the instructors were amazing! They were totally dedicated to increasing our knowledge and to our success. Their passion is intoxicating!" Another student added, "The presenters really seem to love what they do and I really enjoyed coming here every week."

Steve Kristoph, Lead Instructor

Steve Kristoph is widely known for his encyclopedic knowledge of plant material. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in horticulture from Rutgers University, and he has been an adjunct instructor at Rutgers for over 25 years. He also owns and operates Steven Kristoph Nursery in Monmouth County, NJ, where he grows many types of ornamental trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials. The landscaping division of his business, P. Steven Kristoph Garden Design, serves both residential and commercial customers and offers a full range of services, including design, installation, maintenance and seasonal color. Steve is passionate about plants and enjoys sharing his passion with others.

Here's what past students have to say about Steve:

  • "[He] has forgotten more about landscaping plants than I will ever know!"
    -- M. Booth, Co-owner, Booth Brothers Landscaping
  • "I have never met someone as passionate about plants as Steve is!"
  • "Absolutely amazing, he knows his stuff."
  • "Excellent depth of knowledge and conveys it well."

Comments from Past Students about Derron Dover, Guest Lecturer

  • "Excellent knowledge and teacher."
  • "Very personable, pleasure to listen to."
  • "Very passionate and knowledgeable. More concerned about making sure we understand then just hearing himself talk."
Suggested Textbook and App

Students who plan to enroll in the Landscape Plants: Identification, Selection, and Application class may wish to purchase the following book:

The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, 6th Edition by Michael Dirr

Another option is to download the Dirr Tree and Shrub Finder app for around $15.00.

Early Registration Fee TBD  
Registration Fee TBD  
Cancellation Fee TBD  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


No meals will be provided.

Accessing this Online Course

This course will be delivered online via the Canvas learning system. Registration will close on January 6, 2021. On January 7, you will receive an email with a link to access the course. You will also receive a document with tips on how to use Canvas. On January 8, please login to Canvas 30 minutes before start time for a brief overview of the online format. The course will start promptly at 9:00 a.m.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • A computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • Microphone is necessary if you'd like to ask questions.
  • Webcam is optional but not necessary
  • Speaker is optional but not necessary (you will be able to listen to the presentation by dialing in on your phone if your computer does not have a speaker)

**PLEASE NOTE: You will need to upload a photo ID before the class. You will be sent an email approximately one week prior to the class with instructions. If you cannot upload the ID, you will NOT be able to attend.


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with co-workers.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used an email address that you share with your co-workers or supervisor, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our email list:
1. Click here to join our email list (please reference "Landscape Plants: Identification, Selection, and Application" or Course Code AL0201) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Joe Canzano, 848-932-7317
Administrative Assistant: Beth Perez, 848-932-7483

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