COD Experts: Frank Balestri

Frank Balestri is an Assistant Horticulture Professor at COD.

After earning his Associate in Science degree from Moraine Valley Community College, Balestri graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a focus in Horticulture and Landscape Management. He then earned his Master of Science in Horticulture from Iowa State University.

During college, Balestri worked at a nursery and on the grounds crew at The Morton Arboretum. Following graduate school, he was a collections specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden and then accepted a full-time position as a plant health care technician and research assistant at The Morton Arboretum in its Plant Pathology Lab. He diagnosed plant problems on the grounds, conducted research on tree roots and oversaw the Plant Health Care Scouting Program.  

His love of teaching grew when he served as an adjunct faculty member for the Master of Landscape Architecture program at Illinois Institute of Technology, where he taught an Ecology and Plant Materials course for graduate students. Balestri then began teaching full time at COD.

Contact Balestri at or (630) 942-3498.

Frank Balestri

I started working in the vegetable garden with my father at a very young age. As a hobby, I collected and raised butterflies, and while learning their host and nectar plants, I started to develop a passion and appreciation of plants.

- Frank Balestri, Assistant Horticulture Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Horticulture
  • Gardening
  • Pollinator Gardens
  • Native Butterflies
  • Trees

More About Frank Balestri