Search Results

You are looking at 11 - 20 of 62 items for

  • Author or Editor: Mark H. Brand x
Clear All Modify Search

Web sites such as the University of Connecticut (UConn) Plant Database allow large volumes of information and images to be stored, published and accessed by users for the purpose of informed decision-making. Sorting information on the World Wide Web (Web) can be difficult, especially for novice users and those interested in quick results. The advent of Internet search and retrieval software fosters the creation of interactive decision support systems. The Plant Selector was designed to complement the UConn Plant Database plant encyclopedia by allowing Web site users to generate lists of woody ornamental plants that match specific criteria. On completion of an HTML-based search form by users, a Web-enabled database is searched and lists of matching plants are presented for review. To facilitate analysis of the Plant Selector's efficacy, an online questionnaire was implemented to solicit user feedback. Survey data from 426 responses to the online evaluation tool were analyzed both to understand user demographics and gauge satisfaction with the Plant Selector module. Survey data revealed that most Plant Selector users are between 40 to 65 years of age and homeowners with minimal horticultural experience. A large percentage of Web site visitors (68%) is located across the United States beyond Connecticut and the New England region. The great majority of survey respondents (65%) use this tool to select plants for the home landscape. Most (77%) either agree or strongly agree that the Plant Selector is easy to use and delivers results that are useful (66%), while 70% agree or strongly agree that the categories used by the Plant Selector are sufficient. The survey results in general suggest that Web-based decision support systems may serve useful roles in the field of horticulture education.

Full access

Survey data from 114 members (42% response rate) of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association were analyzed to evaluate preferences for different potential solutions to reduce the annual sale of billions of dollars of invasive ornamental plants. The majority of respondents accurately identified key invasive plant characteristics, considered themselves to be knowledgeable about invasive plants, and cited trade journals and professional organizations as their sources of invasive plant information. Although industry members generally considered norway maple (Acer platanoides), japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), and winged euonymus (Euonymus alatus) to be invasive, only 14.5% and 8.1%, respectively, considered the emerging invasive species japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) and butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) to be invasive. In comparing different approaches to reducing the sale of invasive ornamental plants, strong support was expressed for marketing noninvasive alternative plants (mean rank of 2.5) and for development of genetically altered sterile forms of invasive ornamentals (mean rank of 2.9; on a scale from 1 = most favorable to 6 = least favorable). Respondents strongly disfavored taxation as a method of reducing invasive plants sales (mean rank of 5.0) even if proceeds were directed toward invasive plant control and research. Plant bans (mean rank of 4.1) were also an unpopular choice for economically important crops, and respondents desired provisions for cultivars with reduced invasive risk to be included in plant bans. To foster maximum green industry participation in invasive plant control efforts, future directions should focus on creation of sterile forms of popular landscape plants, identification of consumer preference for noninvasive alternatives, and development of strong consumer education programs.

Full access

Increasing interest in landscape use of Aronia arbutifolia and A. melanocarpa has led to the establishment of breeding programs and selection of improved phenotypes within the genus. A rnicropropagation system was developed to facilitate rapid and easy multiplication of improved forms of Aronia. Actively growing shoot tips of A. arbutifolia `Brilliantissima' and A. melanocarpa were used to initiate shoot proliferation from axillary buds. Optimum proliferation of shoots useful for micropropagation occurred on media supplemented with 0.5 to 1.0 mg 1-1 benzyladenine. Both Murashige and Skoog medium and Woody Plant medium supported vigorous shoot proliferation, but differences in culture morphology were evident. In vitro rooting and non-sterile rooting methods both resulted in high rooting percentages, the formation of numerous roots and subsequent rapid growth of plantlets.

Free access

Epimedium is a genus of shade tolerant herbaceous perennials and groundcovers that are slow growing and command high prices. This research examined the influence of division size and timing on propagation success and growth of E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum Boiss., E. × rubrum Morren, E. × versicolor `Sulphureum' Morren and E. × youngianum Fisch. To determine an appropriate division size for each species, small (single bud) and large (three bud) divisions were made in mid-June 2002 and 2003. For the timing study, uniform divisions (three to five buds for E. pinnatum ssp. colchicum and E. × versicolor `Sulphureum'; four to seven buds for E. ×rubrum and E. × youngianum) were made in March, late June and late August, when plants were dormant, had just completed foliage expansion, or were summer dormant. Half of the plants were destructively harvested in the fall and half were overwintered and forced in the greenhouse in early spring. By the end of the growing season, plants grown from large divisions were larger than those grown from small divisions and had produced more buds, however, plants from small divisions produced more buds per initial bud than plants from large divisions, demonstrating a faster increase in growing points. For each species, March divisions produced more vegetative growth, buds, buds per initial bud and potential propagules than June and August divisions, by the end of the growing season. However, by the following spring, both March and June divisions had produced plants of similar size and appearance, while plants grown from August divisions were smaller and of lower quality.

Free access

Plastic 208-L industrial barrels (14 total) were modified for use as soil-filled lysimeters to study the nitrogen dynamics of a typical container crop production system. The top of each barrel was removed and the bottom was fitted with a drain hole and filter fabric. The drain was then connected via tubing to a 2-L leachate collection vessel made from a length of 15.24-cm-diameter PVC pipe that had been capped on one end. All barrels and connected collection vessels were recessed into a grassed slope. Barrels were filled with homogeneous B and C horizon soil to simulate soil conditions of a typical container nursery. Uniform Rhododendron `Catawbiense Album' plants in 4.5-L containers were arranged atop the barrellysimeters at four plants per barrel. Irrigation/fertilizer treatments included fertilized pulse trickle irrigation (four replications), fertilized overhead irrigation (four replications), and unfertilized controls corresponding to each irrigation treatment (three replications each). All fertilized plants received 10 g of 17N–6P–10K 8- to 9-month controlled-release fertilizer at the beginning of the crop cycle. Leachate from the barrel-lysimeters was collected weekly and total volume, total Kjeldahl N, nitrate-N, and ammonium-N were determined. Peak nitrate-N levels were well above the current drinking water standard for both irrigation treatments at certain times during the year. Cumulative nitrate-N mass output was similar for both irrigation treatments. A nitrogen balance for the complete production system including fertilizer and irrigation water input, plant material, potting media, soil in the lysimeter barrels and leachate output from the barrels has also been determined.

Free access

Studies conducted in 1998 and 1999 analyzed the influence of division size, nutrition, and potting medium pH on the growth rate of Hakonechloa macra `Aureola' in nursery-container production. For each study, divisions were made from container-grown nursery stock in late March, then established in 325-mL pots in a greenhouse prior to being transplanted to 3.7-L nursery containers in late May. Grass plants were grown outdoors, under 30% shade density cloth, with drip irrigation from June through September, and, excluding plants in the nutrition study, received top-dressed 17-6-10 slow-release fertilizer containing micronutrients. To determine the optimum division size for production, divisions of four sizes were made (based on one to two, four to six, eight to 10, or 12 to 15 buds per plant). There was a significant division size effect on bud count, leaf area, plant weight, width, and shoot count only when comparing the two lowest division sizes with the two highest. Treatment effects were insignificant among divisions containing one to two and four to six buds, or between eight to 10 and 12-15 buds. Both the larger two sizes produced marketable plants; therefore, divisions with eight to 10 buds are recommended for a schedule aimed at producing salable Hakonechloa over one growing season. The smallest division class is believed to be the more efficient size when one merely wishes to increase plant stock. In a separate study, a factorial trial testing ppm fertilizer (28, 56, 112, 224, and 448 ppm N) and N-P-K formulation (1-1-1, 2-1-2 and 4-1-4) did not generate significant differences between formulations. Plants were fertigated once a week, and EC levels were monitored bi-weekly from leachate collected in drainage saucers. Plant responses to N rates suggest that electrical conductivity levels be kept around 2.5 mS·cm-1 from a 112 ppm N fertilizer (EC can go as high as 4.0 mS·cm-1 with 224 ppm N). It was evident H. macra `Aureola' prefers acidic soil in production. When lime was not included in the potting mixture (a control treatment equating to a pH of about 4.5), leaf area, bud count, and shoot number doubled relative to the three lime treatments (2, 6, and 16 g lime/L of media, or 3.4, 10.1, and 26.9 lb/yard3).

Free access

Tissue proliferation (TP) of Rhododendron sp. is characterized by basal tumors that often develop into numerous dwarf shoots. Growers need to know if the TP condition will recur in plants grown from normal-appearing cuttings collected from plants with TP tumors. Stem cuttings of seven cultivars were collected from stock plants with TP [TP(+)] and without TP [TP(–)] and rooted. Plants were grown in containers outdoors for 2 years and were then evaluated for tumor formation and other TP-related morphological symptoms. Shoots of TP(+) plants were either similar in length to shoots of TP(–) plants, or were shorter, as was the case for `Boule de Neige', `Catawbiense Album', and `Montego'. Plants grown from TP(+) cuttings of all cultivars had more leaves per growth flush than did plants grown from TP(–) cuttings. `Holden', `Montego', and `Scintillation' TP(+) leaves were narrower than leaves from TP(–) shoots and had greater length: width ratios. Leaves of TP(+) `Montego' and `Scintillation' plants were shorter and smaller than leaves from their TP(–) counterparts. Tumors were not observed on any propagated plants, regardless of the TP status of cutting stock plants. To further test the influence of age and TP status of source plants used for cutting propagation, `Montego' plants were grown from cuttings collected from the following sources: 1) in vitro shoot cultures; 2) 3-year-old plants with TP; 3) 6-year-old plants with TP; and 4) TP(–) plants. Cuttings from TP(+) micropropagated plants less than 3 years old were more likely to develop tumors than were cuttings from older plants. Eighty-three percent of plants from microcuttings and 74% of plants from cuttings of 3-year-old TP(+) plants formed tumors, whereas no plants grown from 6-year-old TP(+) or TP(–) cuttings did so. Large tumors that surrounded half or more of the stem were more likely to develop on plants grown from microcuttings than on plants grown from the next youngest, 3-year-old TP(+), stock plants. Growers must be aware that cuttings from TP(+) plants may produce plants that exhibit morphological and growth abnormalities, possibly even including tumor redevelopment.

Free access

The Univ. of Connecticut has designed a website that will help facilitate the learning of landscape plant material. The main objective of this site is to help students taking plant identification courses in New England's land-grant universities and one private college. Virtual Campus Plant Walks have been developed to address budget constraints, student demands for technology integration in the classroom and to make use of the pedagogical benefits of the internet medium. The Virtual Campus Plant Walks are on-line walks that have detailed pictures and information given during actual plant walks done in each plant identification laboratory. Students are able to retake the walks at their own pace, reevaluate a plant they are having trouble remembering, or take the walk over the internet for the first time if they were unable to attend lab. Students will now be able to study plant material whenever they want, regardless of the time of day or weather. The educational validity of the walks has been tested for three semesters and the results are favorable. Surveys reveal that 80% believe the website improved their grades and 76% claimed the website decreased their study time. This evidence will promote the continued and expanded use of the website.

Free access