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Dawn Parish and D. Creech

In 1995, the SFA Arboretum initiated a “three Rs”—rescue, research, and reintroduction—endangered plants program, a conservation horticulture strategy that links the Arboretum with the goals of the Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and other conservation agencies. The program includes two tiers of activity: 1) a 1-acre endangered plants theme garden in the SFA Arboretum for germplasm studies and educating the public, and 2) “introduction” research plots at Mill Creek Gardens, a 119-acre conservation easement 6 miles west of Nacogdoches, Tex. This paper reports on an “introduction” study of one of the most endangered endemics in East Texas, the Neches River rose mallow, Hibiscus dasycalyx. A randomized complete-block design with three blocks and four plants per replication was established in Dec. 1995, in a full-sun wetland planting at Mill Creek Gardens. Two mulching regimes (with and without) and four rates of slow-release 13-13-13 were applied at planting and again in Mar. 1996. Data collected in 1996 and 1997 included number of stems, flowering, and the weight of all aboveground growth harvested after the first frosts in both years. After 2 years, 1) 80% survival across all treatments with losses primarily in the wettest portions of the plots, 2) mulch influences are nonsignificant, and 3) plant response to slow-release fertilizer is significant with medium and high rates favored for “at-planting” application.

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J. Anderson and D. Creech

The population of U.S. Asians will increase by 41% and reach 12 million by the year 2000. Chinese cabbage, Pak Choi, Daikon, and Bitter melon have moved out of the ethnic market and are now in mainstream outlets. This study targeted a diverse range of cool and warm-season crops. Besides those listed above, this study evaluated varieties of Asian greens, Chinese brocolli, Allium, edible soybeam, melon, squash, cucumber, edible Chrysanthemum, amaranth, winged bean, yard-long bean, and edible soybean. A randomized complete block design was utilized, with three replications of row length, varying from 10 to 33 feet, depending on species tested. Direct seedlings of cool-season crops in February and September, 1989 resulted in good market quality and yield of many varieties. Work in 1990 will focus on width of the market window, market information, and grower access to markets.

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D. Creech and Yin Yunlong

There are three botanical varieties associated with the genus Taxodium: 1) Baldcypress (BC) = Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.var. distichum, 2) Pondcypress (PC) = T. distichum var. imbricarium (Nutt.) Croom and 3) Montezuma cypress (MC) = T. distichum var. mexicana Gordon. Taxodium hybridization promises to combine the best characteristics of superior parents. In 1988, clones T302 (a BC × MC F1 hybrid), T401 (PC × MC), and T202 (PC × BC) were selected in China primarily for growth rate and tolerance to alkaline and salt-rich coastal floodplains. T302 is recommended in China for soils with pH 8.0∼8.5 and salt concentrations <0.2%. Other attributes of T302 included 159% faster growth than BC, good columnar form, longer foliage retention in fall and early winter, and no knees. T302 has been in the USA since January 2002 and is currently under evaluation in over 30 locations in southern USA. The clone was named `Nanjing Beauty' in 2004 as a cooperative introduction of the SFA Mast Arboretum and Nanjing Botanical Garden. In March 2005, the SFA Mast Arboretum received two new clones from China. T140 and T27 are considered more evergreen than T302 and both demonstrate strong salt tolerance. The clones were selected from a field population of T302 × TM—with strong TM characteristics and improvements in growth rate, salt tolerance, form and vigor. T140 grows faster than T27, which produces a wider profile. The foundation of the most recent selections comes originally from crosses made by Professor Chen and Liu in 1992 at the Nanjing Botanical Garden. Pollen from TM was applied to a female T302 and fifteen selections were made in 1995. The main characteristics for selection were 1) fast growth rate, 2) dark green color during the growing season and a red-orange leaf color in the fall, and 3) evergreen leaves. In 2006 or 2007, the results from T140 and T27 will be reported and registered with the Chinese Forestry Department. It will be at least five years before T140 and T27 enter commerce. In June, 2005 there were <100 each of these two clones. T118, T120 and T149 have already been registered with the Chinese Forestry Department at the provincial level, while T302 has been registered at the national level.

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D.L. Creech and D. McDonald

Texas is botanically diverse with approximately 5500 native plants identified: east Texas contains about 40% of the total. While most species are stable, many are classified as rare, threatened, vulnerable, or endangered. Databases for east Texas plant communities and vegetative analyses are numerous. However, they are not yet integrated into easy-to-sort-and-query computer files. Computer-Assisted Drafting (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology offers powerful applications to the storage, management, and spatial analysis of species inventories, plant community dynamics, and long-term habitat monitoring. At SFASU, the College of Forestry's GIS Center is being utilized to develop comprehensive east Texas resource inventories on a ten-station HP Apollo/ArcInfo platform. In the horticulture program, a twenty-station PC/AutoCad teaching laboratory is being used to create layered maps of the SFASU Arboretum, the on-campus landscape and off-campus plant communities. The integration of CAD and GIS projects through a DXF format takes advantage of the attributes of both technologies.

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R. Rankin and D. L. Creech

Horticultural enrollments have fallen since the late 1970's and faculties are scrambling to find new ways to creatively finance educational and outreach programs. The Stephen F. Austin State University Arboretum was sanctioned by the administration in March, 1987. Eight acres of land that lie on LaNana creek are directly associated with the Agriculture building and horticultural facility. Gardens that feature a wide range of rare, unusual, and untested landscape plants are being developed by students, volunteers, and a mix of outside monies. The history of a City/SFASU project to develop a three mile LaNana Creek trail will be described. A cooperative effort with the Herb Society of Deep East Texas, a 121-acre conservancy easement project, and Asian vegetable studies are currently under the arboretum umbrella.

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D. L. Creech and J. Singhurst

The Stephen F. Austin State University Arboretum occupies ten acres of campus property on the banks of LaNana creek, the stream that bisects the campus and the city of Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. The mission statement of the Arboretum is to promote the conservation, selection and use of the native plants of east Texas. There are 19 species in east Texas that are either federally endangered, state endangered, or in danger of extirpation from the state. Many others face a serious decline in numbers as appropriate habitats diminish. A long-term project of ex situ and in situ conservation was initiated in 1992. Goals include: 1) acquire global position and vegetative analyses of endangered plant communities, 2) utilize ArcCAD® (a PC-GIS software) to archive a collection of maps, photographs, plant community data, and text, 3) maintain an ex situ collection of endangered plants from known provenances in the arboretum, and 4) reintroduction of species into appropriate protected habitats. The project involves the cooperation of several state and federal agencies and integrates the resources of a university horticulture program with the needs of endangered plant conservation.

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Susan Lindley and D. L. Creech

Stephen F. Austin State University is known as the ``University Among the Pines.” The campus is located along the banks of LnNana creek in the center of Nacogdocha, the oldest town in Texas. Rich with history, the community and the university are now recognizing that cultural. historical and landscape treasure deserve greater protection and conservation. This project involves: 1) collecting a data set of each tree on campus including quadrant identifier, plant ID #, species, dbh, tree health, location, crow diameter, tree height and tree value, 2) placing all trees on a campus map in ArcCAD®, a Geographic Information System (GIS) developed for the PC, 3) linking map entities (trees, polygons, themes) with specific rows in a database, and 4) developing a query strategy to ask questions of the landscape. Database queries are powerful analytical tools which can generate resultant maps that answer specific landscape questions. These maps can then be queried again for further analysis. Examples of typical queries might include: 1) illustrate only those pines with a dbh greater than 24″, 2) identify all oak trees within thirty feet of a building, or 3) illustrate all trees over sixty feet with poor tree health. ArcCAD® links the easy drafting capabilities of AutoCAD® with much of the functionality of a true GIS workstation. Map files can be linked to a database(s), text, and visual images (TIF files). We have scanned and are currently archiving old photographs of the campus for future linkages. By understanding the history of the university landscape and documenting the current status of campus vegetation, decision-makers can have at strategies that lessen the impact of development.

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Matt Welch and D.L. Creech

The poultry industry is a $1 billion industry in Texas, with most production centered in eastern Texas. The nursery industry is a $600 million industry, with 25% of the producers located in eastern Texas. With hundreds of millions of birds produced each year, and each bird producing ≈2 lb of manure, waste disposal is a growing problem. Composted poultry litter was mixed with composted pine bark to create five media with varying percentages of poultry litter as a component: 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 40%. A randomized complete-block design was used with poultry litter rates as main plots and plant species tested as subplots. Five species included: tomato, marigold, Cortaderia selloana, Asian jasmine, and Salvia leucantha. Prior to planting, all 1-gal containers were leached with 1000 ml of water, the leachate collected, and tested for conductivity. Plant growth measurements to be presented include plant height and dry weight. The results of media and leaf tissue nutrient analysis will be presented.

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D.L. Creech, C. Martindale, and R. Rankin

Brightwell and Climax plants were established in March, 1987, under the following above-ground treatments: 1) polyfabric weed barrier, 2) a 6 cm deep, 1-meter wide strip of continuous bark, and 3) zero. Below-ground treatments included, 1) 19 liters peatmoss, 2) 19 liters pine bark, 3) a continuous bark strip, tilled in, and 4) zero. A randomized complete block design was utilized with above-ground treatments as main plots and in-ground. treatments as split plots. After three years, plants under polyfabric had higher above-ground dry weights, growth indexes, plant height, root dry weights and root lengths than plants under continuous bark or zero. In the deep, coarse, easily-leached sand, all roots were very shallow (0-20cms) and concentrated along the drip line and in organic matter fractions. There were no significant differences between in-ground treatments.

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Jason Singhurst, D. L. Creech, and J. Williams

In Texas, 5,500 native species are distributed over an area comprised of ten regional habitat types. In the Piney Woods region of east Texas, 2,300 plant species occupy 15 million acres. In east Texas, the USFWS has identified 4 species that are federally endangered and 15 that are candidates for that listing. Interest in protecting rare plant habitats and reintroducing those species into similar and appropriate ecosystem types has led to new tools in research and development. Remote sensing is one; this technology is used to derive information about the earth's land and water areas from images acquired at a distance Multispectral and spatial techniques are applied to process and interpret remote sensing imagery for the purpose of producing conventional maps, thematic maps, reource surveys, etc., in the fields of agriculture, botany, archeology, forestry, geography, geology. and others. Remote sensing is used to classify vegetation, interpret forest photogrammetry, estimate timber production, and identify crops, individual plants and leaf structure. This specific project was initiated to determine the potential of remote sensing as a tool to locate known and new rare plant communities in east Texas. To develop benchmark data, a Daedalus scanner image of a previously surveyed and AutoCAD® mapped area, the Vista forest on the SFASU campus, was utilized to develop correlations between imagery, vegetation types and species. By inserting various scan images under the Vista forest AutoCAD® map, known tree species were analyzed through their specific spectral emission characteristics across nine bands. This pilot project has indicated that it is simple to separate pines from hardwoods and illustrate major land use features. However, separation at the species level or groups of species has not been achieved. This paper will trace the history of this project, describe problems and obstacles encountered, and make recommendations for future strategies.