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Ricky M. Bates

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Ricky M. Bates and David A. Baumbauer

Horticulture students often lack practical experience integrating information from diverse sources to solve complex real-life problems. Capstone courses seek to remedy this by giving students an opportunity to demonstrate a range of workplace skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and critical thinking. Sponsored competitions provide educators with an active-learning framework into which the goals of a capstone course can be developed. The Greenhouse of the Future competition allowed undergraduate students to conceptualize, develop, and prototype innovative greenhouse designs in a national competition venue. This article explains the guidelines of the Greenhouse of the Future competition and discusses how the competition was integrated into the capstone course Greenhouse Management.

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Ricky M. Bates, James C. Sellmer and David A. Despot

Needle retention, xylem pressure potential and overall quality of canaan fir (Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis (L.) Mill.) and fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.) Christmas trees were evaluated over a 40-day display period. Cut trees were stored outdoors for 24, 48, or 96 hours, and half the trees had a 2.5-cm section trimmed from the basal portion of the stem, before placement in water at an indoor display room. Controls were placed in water immediately after harvest. Xylem pressure potentials and overall quality were similar for both species except for trees stored 96 hours. Untrimmed canaan fir dried to -2.4 MPa and was rated below average by the end of the display period compared to -1.3 MPa and a good quality rating for fraser fir. Needle retention and color characteristics were excellent across all treatments for fraser fir during the entire display period. Needle loss for canaan fir began relatively soon during display, generally increased across all treatments, and was highly variable. In addition, quality of some canaan fir trees decreased as needles turned brown, but did not shed during the display period. Tree water status alone did not completely account for loss of needles and quality in canaan fir; the need exists to identify seed sources with better postharvest characteristics.

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Kathleen M. Kelley, Janine R. Stumpf, James C. Sellmer and Ricky M. Bates

Consumers were surveyed at the 2004 Philadelphia Flower Show in Philadelphia, Pa. from 8–10 Mar., to quantify their attitudes and behaviors towards invasive plant species and the potential problems associated with purchasing and planting invasives in the landscape. A majority of the 341 participants (81.5%) was aware that non-native exotic plants were used in the landscape and that these plants may be invasive in natural areas. Less than half (40.1%) acknowledged owning plants that were considered invasive, while one-third (33.5%) did not know. Less than half (41.3%) believed that laws should be passed to prevent sale of non-native exotic plants, while 27.8% believed that laws should be passed to allow sale of only native plants in their area. Three distinct consumer segments were identified using cluster analysis: “Invasive savvy,” participants knowledgeable about invasives and interested in alternative species; “Invasive neutral,” participants neutral in their decision to purchasing alternatives to invasive plants and price sensitive in regard to paying more for plants tested for invasiveness; and “Invasive inactive,” participants opposed to purchasing genetically modified plants or those bred to be seedless. Survey results indicated that media sources (e.g., television and newspapers/magazines/books) would be effective for educating consumers about potential problems associated with invasive species in the landscape.

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James C. Sellmer, Ricky M. Bates, Tracey L. Harpster, David Despot and Larry J. Kuhns

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Ricky M. Bates, James C. Sellmer, Tracey L. Harpster and Larry J. Kuhns