Mount Auburn’s Horticulture Internship Program

January 4, 2022

Training a new generation of horticultural professionals


Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn Cemetery was America’s first large-scale designed landscape open to the public. Today, it is an outdoor museum, a world-renowned ornamental horticultural landscape, and an accredited arboretum of great complexity and beauty. Noted for its nationally significant plant collections, particularly its diverse variety of trees and shrubs, Mount Auburn is an invaluable resource for the Greater Boston Area and the horticultural world at large, serving as a leader in historic landscape preservation and sustainable landscaping.

Mount Auburn’s horticulture internship program was established to address concerns about declining numbers of specialized training programs in the United States – especially at the university level – and fewer young professionals entering the field. Working under the guidance of Mount Auburn’s staff, our interns gain specialized experience in different areas of our horticulture and landscape operations, with opportunities to work on our plant collections, gardening, greenhouse, or arboriculture teams. Internships are six months, with an opportunity to extend, and can start at various times during the year depending on the interest area.  Candidates from a college horticulture program with hands-on field experience are preferred.  The arborist, gardener and greenhouse positions are 40-hours per week unless adjustments are required due to the pandemic.

As part of the program, interns work alongside staff members in their host department to develop a comprehensive expertise in that area of horticulture work. Field trips to other regional public gardens are also periodically offered to introduce different perspectives and landscape management philosophies. As our interns learn new skills and proficiencies, they also bring their own talent and fresh perspectives to Mount Auburn’s world-class landscape as they support our staff on their projects. Interns gain valuable career-building experiences in their area of interest and develop the skills needed to pursue a career in horticulture.   

Internships are available in the following areas:

Plant Collections

Plant collections interns work on new planting projects, database records, and mapping initiatives. They work closely with our curatorial staff on plant records management, which gives them exposure to the technical side of plant acquisition, identification, labeling, inventory, mapping, and data collection. The plant records database is called BG-Base, and the mapping software uses ArcGIS. We use an RFID labeling system in the nursery.  Pay = $19/hour.


Interns work with our Greenhouse/Nursery staff on propagation and all aspects of greenhouse and nursery production. Their assignments include potting and transplanting seedlings, cuttings, bulbs, and mature plants. Tasks also include assembling and changing decorative floral displays as well as planting and maintaining flower beds throughout the grounds.  Pay = $19/hour.


Gardening interns help Mount Auburn’s staff maintain a diverse mix of ornamental garden areas, ranging from historic Victorian period to contemporary designs.  Interns are trained in the continual upkeep and revision necessary to keep these spaces beautiful, and tasks include planting, weeding, mulching, watering, pruning, staking, fertilizing, and editing plant spread. Asa Gray Garden (redesigned in 2018) is now one of the main areas that our interns support, with its diverse mix of trees, shrubs and perennials containing over 175 taxa from North America and Asia.  Pay = $19/hour.


Arboriculture interns are trained in all aspect of tree maintenance. Tasks include pruning, climbing with rope and saddle, operating the aerial lift, planting, cabling, bracing, fertilizing, spraying, and removals. Interns also work on planting trees and shrubs, plant health care, and tree and shrub identification.  Support provided for acquiring licenses (pesticide applicator and hoisting) and certifications (MCA, ISA, MCH).

Pay = $20-22/hour.

To see the full details of the job descriptions and requirements please visit our website

Application Information:

Please send a cover letter stating your career goals and objectives with a current resume, as Microsoft Word documents, and include the specific internship position you are applying for in the subject area, to:

Or by mail to:             Human Resources

                                    Mount Auburn Cemetery

                                    580 Mount Auburn St.

                                    Cambridge, MA   02138

No telephone calls please. We are unable to sponsor work visas or reimburse relocation expenses.  Mount Auburn Cemetery is an equal-opportunity employer

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