Awards and Certifications/KCN Certification

KCN Certification Information

Individuals who successfully complete the KCN examination and meet certain other requirements earn the designation of Kentucky Certified Nurseryman, conveying to the public and their colleagues the they need look no further for the qualified, expert, professional nurseryman they are seeking.

The retail nursery is the information center homeowners have come to rely on for dependable horticultural advice.

To provide sound scientific horticultural expertise to customers, the garden center employees must be knowledgeable in a wide variety of subjects including plant identification, proper plant usage, how to keep plants healthy and pest free, soils, turf grass management, proper planting and maintenance of nursery stock, landscape design, and more.

The Kentucky Certified Nurseryman Program is designed to improve the skills and knowledge of employees, to have the improvement and professional qualifications recognized in the eyes of the public as well as within the industry, and to provide a means of self-improvement and increased worth.

Kentucky Certified Nurseryman examination is administered once a year at the Kentucky Landscape Industries Winter Conference and Trade Show in January. If there are any other examinations held throughout the year, an announcement will be mail will be made by mail and via the KNLA Nursery Views or via an E-News alert. Please contact the office for exact testing dates. More information about the exam is listed below and if you have any specific questions regarding the exam itself, please email Dr. Win Dunwell, KCN Chairman, at

Application for KCN Program Certification Exam

Anyone may obtain the KCN Training Manual and take the examination. However, for an individual to be granted Kentucky Certified Nurseryman status, he of she must have worked six (6) months full time or 500 hours part-time in a nursery, garden center or other landscape industry firm.

Upon successful completion of the test, you must file for certification and provide signed work experience statements from your employer. You will be required to sign a certification agreement stating that you will abide by rules and regulations governing a Kentucky Certified Nurseryman as established by the Certification Committee.

  1. Part 1 A 125 question true/false, multiple choice test over the topics covered in the 14 chapters of the KCN Manual.
  2. Part 2 A 125 question identification test covering up to 50 trees and shrubs, 16 perennials, 15 annuals, 10 indoor plants, 10 diseases, 10 insects, 10 weeds, 5 fruits, and 5 vegetables. Exam items will be from those discussed in the KCN Manual.
  3. Part 3 The development of a problem solving landscape design. You will need pencils and a scale. No templates are allowed.

The purchase of a manual is not necessary to qualify for the examination. Nor is an individual entitled to participate in a certification exam by purchasing a KCN Manual. A manual can be secured to use as a reference book without taking the exam.

Download Files

Application for KCN Manual and Exam

Current List of Kentucky Certified Nurserymen