All About the CCN Pro Exams and Requirements

CCN Pro – Setting The Industry Standard

CCN Pro = Increasing the value of customer service through training and education.

  • Excellent customer service
  • Enhanced customer relations
  • Credentials customers relate to
Exams & Study Materials

Advanced Exams


The Insect, Disease and Weed (IDW) Exam is a comprehensive one. There are three sections that are graded separately. Passing score is 80% on each section.

“Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs; An Integrated Pest Management Guide”. This publication is your study manual for this exam. It is available through the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers.

Exam Sections:

You will be required to identify 35 photos that have been selected from the more than 200 photos shown in the “Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs An Integrated Pest Management Guide” publication. (Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7) You will need to give a complete description of each slide shown. (Points are not deducted for spelling errors)

  • Adult klamath weed beetle
  • Dead leaves of coast live oak caused by oak twig blight
  • Flatheaded borer damage

You will be required to answer 215 True/False questions based on the publication.

You will be required to answer 55 matching questions based on the publication – such as which are beneficial insects and which are not.

There is no need to memorize any charts or tables. However, be sure to thoroughly review the following chapters and pages from the “Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs An Integrated Pest Management Guide” publication: Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7


The Rose Garden Management Exam is focused on rose types and care such as fertilizing, pruning, spraying, mulching and exhibiting. The exam also covers monthly rose care and pests.

“Growing Roses in California Gardens” is your study material for this exam and is available through CANGC.

Study Materials

THE RETAIL GARDEN CENTER MANUAL – a basic horticulture reference for CCN Pro members and other environmental horticulture professionals in California. It is the result of a partnership between the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and the CCN Pro program of CANGC. Official study manual for CCN Pro exams and an excellent resource for all garden centers

THE RETAIL GARDEN CENTER STUDY GUIDE – with the new manual this newly updated Retail Garden Center Study Guide comes complete with great ideas from how to conduct a training session to a review of all three segments of the exam, questions, plant identification and landscape design.

The objective of the study guide is to help individuals better understand what is expected of them when taking the CCN Pro examination. The study guide, like the exam, is divided into three sections of general knowledge, plant identification and landscape design. Within these three sections you can find sample exams on general knowledge and information to help the studying process such as lawn calculations, plant matching exam, the official plant list and nomenclature guides and much, much more.

  • This is a must for the potential CCN Pro
  • It is also a tool for garden centers for in-house training

CCN PRO PLANT IDENTIFICATION FLASHCARDS – The flashcards are a tool to help learn about the 250 plants on the official plant list.  They offer the following information: height, blooming season, bloom color, exposure, type of plant and both the botanical and common name of the plant.

  • Click here to download a PDF with CCN Pro Flashcards

Other Study Materials Are Provided at the Time of Registration
When you register, you will receive confirmation of registration, a plant list, the nomenclature guide, a handout on landscape design, and a practice landscape plot plan.

Advanced Exam Study Materials

Study guides for the Advanced Insect, Disease, and Weed Exam as well as the Rose Garden Management Exam are available for purchase, see the CCNPro Study Material Order Form below.

CCN Pro Merchandise

  • You may reorder any of your promotional materials at any time: badge, certificate, etc.
    CCN Pro Certificate
    CCN Pro Advanced Certificate
    CCN Pro Badge
    CCN Pro Advanced Badge
    Additional Stars for the Advanced Badge
    I.D. Wallet Card
    Advanced I.D. Wallet Card

Study Materials for the Exams can be accessed through the order form below:

CCNPro Merchandise

CCNPro Study Materials

PlantRight CCNPro Retail Study Guide Insert

CCN Pro Membership

CCN Pros Are Eligible for Membership in the CANGC

Often times when an individual achieves CCN Pro status they believe they are a member of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC). CCN Pro status is separate from membership but CCN Pros receive a special membership dues rate.

Eligibility is as follows: Any individual who is employed in any capacity by any Regular or Associate Member in good standing and who is an active CCN Pro™ through maintenance of the certification status as required by the CCN Pro™ Board shall be eligible for a CCN Pro™ Membership. CCN Pros™ employed by a non-member firm may apply for this membership category and receive a limited number of benefits. Active CCN Pro™ Status is required.

Membership in the association would place the CCN Pro’s email address on our Retail News and Views e-newsletter list and on a special list that receives periodic information of interest such as the Hottest Plants” for 2010 article from Garden Center Magazine this last January. Member discounts and pricing always apply to this membership category.

The current fee for membership in CANGC for California Certified Nursery Professionals is $25.

Requirements for Taking the CCN Pro Exam

Individual must complete the following work experience: 18 months (at any time in one’s job history), full-time, California nursery (includes wholesale nursery experience) or 3,120 cumulative hours.

Optional ways to earn hours towards the required 3,120 hours: 1,040 hours are earned for an ornamental/environmental horticulture degree from a 4-year program, OR 520 hours are earned for an ornamental/environmental horticulture degree from a 2-year program.

Additional option: Upon proof of certification or 24 months nursery experience from another state, 12 months of nursery experience in California is then required.

Before the CCN Pro Exam

Prepare for the initial CCN Pro exam by:

  • Study the Retail Garden Center Manual for the general questions, landscape design information
  • The Retail Garden Center Study Guide is a must as it leads you through all three parts of the exam with instruction, sample tests, exam information, lawn calculation exercises and so much more.
  • Plant identification flash cards – basic information on each plant on the official plant list.
CCN Pro Exam Description

To earn certification status, individuals must pass each of the three segments of the initial exam with a score of at least 70 percent.

Questions: 100 true/false, in addition to multiple choice based on the manual and from practical experience.

Plant Identification: 35 plants must be identified with complete botanical and common names and correctly spelled. These are chosen at random from the list of over 250 plants (list included in study guide).

Landscape Design: Landscape is designed on a pre-printed plot plan to scale complete with legend, plus 115 landscape questions. The last 15 questions ask you to calculate a lawn and the use of amendments along with how many cubic feet of amendments and the cost to the customer.

Initial Exam Schedule
  • Held twice annually in February and July in Northern and Southern California.
  • Each section is timed; the complete exam takes approximately five hours.
Initial Exam Retests
Exam section(s) not passed by the 70 percent requirement can be retaken as many times as one wishes in order to achieve status. If not within three years of the last testing date, the full exam must be retaken, including the sections passed earlier; the full initial exam fee is required.
Register for a Clinic

CCN Pro Landscape Clinic ($25): September 24th 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Green Thumb Nursery, 23734 Newhall Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91321


Register for an Exam

The next scheduled exams are on:

  • October 16th, 2019  at Green Thumb Garden Chapel (7769 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304)
  • October 17th, 2019 at Armstrong Garden Centers (32382 Del Obispo Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
  • January 23rd, 2020 at Belmont Nursery (7730 E. Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA 93737)

Exam Registration Form

Advanced Exam Registration Form