WERA058: Production, Transition Handling, and Reestablishment of Perennial Nursery Stock
Statement of Issues and JustificationPlant production, transition handling, and reestablishment of nursery stock continues to be challenging in light of new plant introductions and growing techniques. Environmentally friendly practices at every step are expected by the general public. It is essential for researchers to understand past and current problems and constraints in order to design integrated research approaches to address issues facing perennial plant producers.
Commercial production is concentrated in regions with climate favoring rapid and cost effective plant growth. Visiting these major production regions affords the opportunity for WCC-058 participants to interact with growers and handlers in identifying production handling and reestablishment issues. . Through these site visits and subsequent interactions of committee members, this committee has identified several important areas of research and coordinated experimental approaches. For instance, transplanting was identified as an important issue, so the gravel bed growing system is being investigated in humid (Missouri) and arid (Idaho and Utah) climates with deciduous (Missouri and Utah) and coniferous species (Idaho) being tested. Drought tolerance of landscape plants and their water usage are also being investigated in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Extension efforts are also being coordinated among committee members. This committee has worked on several extension topics such as usefulness of in-ground fabric bags (Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Utah) and adaptability of native plant species to managed landscapes (Iowa, New Jersey, and New Mexico).
Plant material is shipped throughout the U.S. where plants are acclimated to local conditions, grown for additional seasons, and sold at various times. Research addressing proper acclimation and handling of perennial plants before shipment to climatically diverse regions is critical to their quality, survival, and ability to re-establish. Visiting production and retail nurseries throughout the U.S. enables WCC-058 participants to see problems firsthand. Business meetings then allow committee members to evaluate research problems, coordinate experimental approaches, and design extension programming aimed at solving problems. The WCC-058 also is seeking to include an international perspective on technology and trade.
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