FFA Nursery and Landscape CDE

FFA Nursery and Landscape CDE

Team Make-up: Each school may enter only one team, consisting of 4 members, in this event, and only those schools without a team may enter up to three individuals to compete for individual awards. Only those students who are competing will be allowed to participate in the event. The score for a team will consist of a total of all four members.

Equipment: No personal tools or supplies, except for pencils and pens, may be brought to the event unless specified in the event description.  The contest superintendent will supply clipboards, sample scan sheets for marking, identification lists and official scan sheet to be turned in.

Event Schedule: Each contestant shall complete the event in the time allotted:

  1. General Knowledge
  2. Identification of Plants, Disorders, Equipment and Supplies (30 seconds at each station)
  3. Practicum (Each participant will participate in both of the practicums.)


For additional information and to register visit the Career Development Event website: http://cde.okstate.edu/

Nursery Landscape Resources

Nursery and Landscape Other Resources

Forest Trees of Oklahoma Manual, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Services, Oklahoma City, OK Purchase price $8.00

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Stipes Publishing Company, Champaign, IL.

Vascular Plant Image Gallery

American Forests Organization

How to Prune Trees

National FFA Career Development Events

Oklahoma FFA Association

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Horticulture Fach Sheets

Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education


General Knowledge Exam (150 points)

This portion of the event will consist of 50 questions, addressing content from Introduction to Horticulture - Third Edition, published by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

  • Each question is worth 3 points
  • Questions may be of the multiple choice, true-false, and/or matching format(s).
  • Questions may or may not be written exactly as they are in the core curriculum. Although the exam will cover "general horticulture" knowledge, it will focus on knowledge of the specified CDE.
  • For practice, the following link is a previous year's exam: Nursery/Landscape General Knowledge Exam


Plant Identification (125 points)

  1. Each contestant will be required to identify 25 specimens (5 points each) from the Nursery/Landscape ID list.
  2. Contestants will receive an ID Card listing all possible specimens as shown on the attached list.
  3. Contestants must place the ID number, representing the appropriate name, next to the number of the specimen to be identified.
  4. Duplicate specimens may be used and may be represented by whole plants, stem cuttings, flowers, and/or a leaf or stem sample.
  5. Resources: A-D / E-L / M-P / Q-Y

Plant Disorder Identification
(45 points)

  1. Each contestant will be required to identify 15 specimens (3 points each) from the attached list.
  2. Duplicate specimens may be used and may be represented by the actual organism (insect, fruiting bodies from pathogenic fungi, or weed for example) and/or by symptoms on plant parts such as leaves, stems or roots.
  3. When a problem is represented with an affected plant, a "Disorder" label will be with the item to designate identification of the problem rather than the plants.
  4. Resource:  Pests and Disorders ID

Equipment and Supplies ID (30 points)

  • Each contestant will be required to identify 10 pieces of equipment (3 points each) from the attached list.
  • Equipment and Supplies List


All contestants will participate in two (2) practicums (25 points each, 50 points total). Each practicum activity will consist of a hands-on task and/or up to 25 questions about the practicum activity.

Each year two practicums will be chosen from the following list: (See the Career Development Event website to see the practicums for the current year.)

  1. Ornamental Garden Plan - a drawing will be provided. Students will be asked 25 questions (1 point each) regarding the plan. Questions may ask the students to calculate quantities and/or costs of materials needed in order to install and maintain the garden. Students should bring a calculator.
  2. Pruning Nursery Stock and Landscape Plants - One or more nursery or landscape plants will be displayed with points marked for possible pruning cuts. No plant will actually be pruned. Participants are to evaluate each labeled point and decide if the plant part should be pruned or not for improvement of the plant's health, form and overall quality. The answer choice then will be the combination of cuts that should be made. Some questions may be asked based on line drawings or photographs. Contestants may be outdoors for this portion of the event and should be prepared for inclement weather. Be sure to check OCES Fact Sheet HLA-6409 for the latest pruning recommendations.
  3. Written Practicum - The contestant will assume the role of a customer service representative. A copy of a homeowner's letter about a specific plant disorder or horticultural practice will be provided along with information regarding the diagnosis and control recommendation from a pest management guide. Each contestant will hand-write in ink a business letter giving the diagnosis and control recommendation. Scratch paper will be provided for a rough draft in pencil if desired. Contestants should bring an ink pen and a pencil. Only the final draft in ink on the letterhead stationary provided will be scored. Scoring criteria are presented on the "Written Customer Assistance" score card.
  4. Judging - This portion of the contest will consist of judging two classes of four like specimens of bailed and burlapped shrubs or trees, containerized shrubs or trees, groundcovers, or bedding plants. Plants will be placed without reasons being given.
  5. Equipment Maintenance - Tools from the list in Phase 3, a part for a tool, and/or an operating manual will be presented with answer choices of possible maintenance needs, corrective actions, and/or operating specifications. Examples of possible choices are low oil, uneven height setting, blade needs sharpening, incorrect gas: oil ratio provided, or replace broken handle. Equipment will be placed to allow observing all components in the answer choices without handling the item. If handling should be required, allowance for this will be stated with the answer choice. Students have 10 minutes to complete this phase.
  6. Potting Nursery Stock - Each participant will be furnished a supply of plants, nursery containers or pots of appropriate size, and media. Hand pruners, a label, and a marking pen will also be provided. (Personal pruners are allowed, if desired). The participants will pot the plants, one per container, using standard nursery practices. Plant division or grading of liners may be involved. Once finished container will be labeled. Seven minutes will be allowed for potting up to 10 containers. An official will observe and score each participant during this practicum. Scoring criteria are presented on the "Potting Nursery Stock" scorecard.


Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about our department and the many opportunities available to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

David Hillock, State Master Gardener Coordinator
David Hillock
Assistant Extension Specialist
Consumer Horticulture
358 Agricultural Hall