CHREF Research for 2021

Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation Funded Research for 2021

The CHREF Board of Directors met by Zoom on Friday, December 6, 2020 and heard research reports from CSU personnel on research funded for the calendar year 2020 and heard requests for 2021 calendar year. The following four projects were approved for funding 2021.

1. Woody Plant and Herbaceous Perennial Evaluation for High Plains and Rocky Mountain Region
Both the Arboretum and Perennial Demonstration Garden at Colorado State University have several established areas for evaluation trials. These areas provide a strong foundation for scientific plant evaluation for the Rocky Mountain Areas and High Plains area. The grant from CHREF for 2021 will help us to create more space for evaluation of woody plants in an area south of Horticulture Center on the CSU campus. It will also allow us to help maintain the arboretum and perennial garden and also improve the website and educational outreach of the arboretum and perennial garden. Grant also will help to cover cost in producing published reports based on our annual evaluation along with herbaceous perennial collection and updating our website.

2. Multi-site Woody Plant Evaluation in Colorado
This is an ongoing project which utilizes four different sites throughout Colorado including Colorado State University Horticulture Research Center -Fort Collins; Western Colorado Research Center, Orchard Mesa, Grand Junction; CALF’s Lowell Ranch; Douglas County and Little Valley Wholesale Nursery, Brighton. The trial includes both tree and shrub species. Five to eight replications of each taxon are planted at each site.

The trial plants are planted and maintained according to each host nursery’s cultural practices. Sites are visited throughout the year to collect growth, aesthetic and general performance data. Cooperators also provide qualitative data regarding their impression of plant performance. In 2021, we plan to plant 6 to 8 additional new taxa at each site depending on availability. Results are published in CNGA Looseleaf, Colorado Green and presented at Pro Green and other conferences and shown at field days throughout the year.

3. Plant Select® Greenhouse Media, Fertilizer and Plant Growth Regulator Study
This research is continuing some previous research conducted with just media and fertilizer on certain stock plants that are difficult to get adequate number of cuttings and a high percentage of rooting. This experiment will research Verbascum x ‘Letitia’ being grown in two different media, two fertilizers at two different rates and include one plant growth regulator. We will utilize these  findings from previous experiments and incorporate them into the new study to further fine tune production and propagation protocols. Experiment will be repeated twice in 2021.

4. Photoperiod Study
Research to date have shown that certain new taxa in the Plant Select® program  that there is no knowledge on the photoperiod requirements to keep stock plants and cuttings vegetative versus going reproductive which hinders stock plant production and successful rooting percentages. We will also start to look at vernalization as a factor in keeping stock plants vegetative. This research will be done at CSU Horticulture Center in several photoperiod controlled tents.

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