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Lucy K. Bradley and Jean C. Stutz

The Univ. of Arizona Cooperative Extension home horticulture World Wide Web site for Maricopa County, “Environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping in the low desert,” provides the public with timely, research-based, regionally appropriate information. This delivery method enables self-service access to prepared text information and high-quality images that could not be economically distributed via traditional print methods, and interactive opportunities for submitting questions.

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Chris A. Martin and Jean C. Stutz

A distance learning course called Southwest Home Horticulture was developed and implemented at Arizona State University using video and Internet technologies to give nonhorticulture students an overview of urban horticulture in the southwestern United States. Fourteen, one-half-hour video programs about topics in southwestern residential landscaping, plants materials and landscape best-management practices were produced in ≈800 working hours. The video programs are now telecast weekly, each academic semester, on the regional public television station and the educational channel of several cable television systems. We found that students who enrolled in the course were most likely to tape the programs on a video cassette recorder and watch them at their own convenience, one to three times. A World Wide Web (Web) site on the Internet was developed as a supplement to the video programs. The Web site was organized into a modular format giving students quick access to auxiliary course-related information and helpful resources. When asked, ≈90% of the students indicated that the Web site was a helpful supplement to the video programs. Use of video and Internet technologies in tandem has enabled nonhorticulture major students to learn about home horticulture in an asynchronous or location and time independent fashion.

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E.F. Gilman and R.J. Beeson

The root : shoot ratio for Ilex cassine L. grown 7 months in copper-treated containers was less than in nontreated containers. There was less dry weight for roots <5 mm in diameter in copper-treated containers than in nontreated containers in the outer 1 cm of the rootball. Dry weight of roots >5 mm in diameter within the rootball were not affected by copper hydroxide treatment. Coating the interior of a plastic container with cupric hydroxide eliminated coarse roots (> 5 mm in diameter) and significantly reduced fine root weight from the outer 1 cm of the rootball. Fine roots inside the rootball did not replace fine roots lacking in the outer 1 cm.

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Virginia I. Lohr and Lenore H. Bummer

Implementing water-conserving landscapes is one action that many individuals can take to help ease the nation's water crisis, but few people seem to be exercising this option. Some horticulturists attribute this to a negative attitude toward such landscapes. Our research was designed to assess these attitudes and to see if they could be improved with information. Questionnaires were administered to people in treatment or control groups. Those in the treatment group viewed a short videotape about water issues and water-conserving landscapes. Initial attitudes in both groups were neutral or positive, not negative as predicted. Viewing the videotape was associated with significantly improved attitudes. People in the treatment group described water-conserving landscapes as less hot, more colorful, and more attractive three weeks after viewing the videotape than they had initially.

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William R. Graves and Lorna C. Wilkins

Growth of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis Willd.) seedlings was studied during exposure to reduced osmotic potential (ψπ) and high temperature in the root zone. Half-sib plants were cultured in solution. Root-zone temperature was increased from ambient (23C) to 35C for 0, 6, 12, or 24 hours·day -l. Within each temperature treatment, solution ψπ of -0.05, – 0.10, and – 0.20 MPa were maintained by additions of polyethylene glycol (PEG) 8000. Root and shoot dry weights decreased with increasing exposure to 35C among seedlings in -0.05-MPa solution and decreased for seedlings in - 0.10- and - 0.20-MPa solutions in all temperature regimes. Growth of epicotyls displayed similar trends, but epicotyls of plants in -0.20-MPa solution were longest with 6 hours·day-l at 35C. Significant interactions between effects of temperature and osmotic regimes indicated that water-stressed honey locust seedlings are relatively insensitive to elevated root-zone temperatures. However, related studies showed that PEG caused reductions in growth that could not be explained by decreases in ψπ and suggested that responses of honey locust to PEG differed from those when drought was imposed by withholding irrigation in an aggregate medium.

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Megan Holmes and Tina M. Waliczek

The average cost of housing a single inmate in the United States is roughly $31,286 per year, bringing the total average cost states spend on corrections to more than $50 billion per year. Statistics show 1 in every 34 adults in the United States is under some form of correctional supervision; and after 3 years, more than 4 in 10 prisoners return to custody. The purpose of this study was to determine the availability of opportunities for horticultural community service and whether there were differences in incidences of recurrences of offenses/recidivism of offenders completing community service in horticultural vs. nonhorticultural settings. Data were collected through obtaining offender profile probation revocation reports, agency records, and community service supervision reports for one county in Texas. The sample included both violent and nonviolent and misdemeanor and felony offenders. Offenders who completed their community service in horticultural or nonhorticultural outdoor environments showed lower rates of recidivism compared with offenders who completed their community service in nonhorticultural indoor environments and those who had no community service. Demographic comparisons found no difference in incidence of recidivism in comparisons of offenders based on gender, age, and the environment in which community service was served. In addition, no difference was shown in incidence of recidivism in comparisons based on offenders with misdemeanor vs. felony charges. The results and information gathered support the continued notion that horticultural activities can play an important role in influencing an offender’s successful reentry into society.

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William R. Graves, Robert J. Joly and Michael N. Dana

Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis Wind.) and tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle] sometimes are exposed to high root-zone temperatures in urban microclimates. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that seedlings of these species differ in how elevated root-zone temperature affects growth, leaf water relations, and root hydraulic properties. Shoot extension, leaf area, root: shoot ratio, and root and shoot dry weights were less for tree-of-heaven grown with the root zone at 34C than for those with root zones at 24C. Tree-of-heaven with roots at 34C had a lower mean transpiration rate (E) than those grown at 24C, but leaf water potential (ψ1) was similar at both temperatures. In contrast, shoot extension of seedlings of honey locust grown with roots at 34C was greater than honey locust at 24C, E was similar at both temperatures, and ψ1 was reduced at 34C. Hydraulic properties of root systems grown at both temperatures were determined during exposure to pressure in solution held at 24 or 34C. For each species at both solution temperatures, water flux through root systems (Jv) grown at 34C was less than for roots grown at 24C. Roots of tree-of-heaven grown at 34C had lower hydraulic conductivity coefficients (Lp) than those grown at 24C, but Lp of roots of honey locust grown at the two temperatures was similar.

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Amy L. McFarland

Research investigating the relationship between physical environments and various aspects of quality of life have found that people who live or work near natural areas have improved health and increased levels of satisfaction at home, work, and with life in general. Research has also shown that workers who performed their job function in offices with windows or interior plants had higher job satisfaction. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between the use of green spaces and public gardens in the work place on mental well-being, overall quality of life, and job satisfaction. The sample for this study was drawn from participants who were on the contact list of public garden employees and volunteers for a winter in-service training hosted by the Smithsonian Gardens (Washington, DC). Participants were e-mailed asking for their participation in the survey. An incentive of winning a greenhouse tour was used to improve the response rate. A total of 105 usable surveys were received out of 423 invitations that were sent for a response rate of 24.8%. Participants were asked to respond to questions regarding their work environment, mental well-being, overall quality of life, and job satisfaction. Differences were identified based on whether the participant was a paid employee or unpaid worker. Based on time spent outdoors during the workday, the only difference within the overall group existed with regard to how frequently the participant ate outdoors and their reported mental well-being. On the quality of life questions, differences for the overall sample, the paid group, and the unpaid group were found for having window views of plants or nature. On the job satisfaction question, differences were identified in the overall sample and the paid group for having a window in their immediate office or workplace. Several variables did not identify any statistically significant difference, which might result from this sample being already largely connected to nature due to their employment or volunteer work within a public garden.

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A.M. Shirazi and C.P. Dunn

The Expressway Partnership (a project of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce's Gateway Green Committee) is an urban landscape project that promises to change the face of the city's expressways. The Morton Arboretum's Urban Horticulture Research Lab., with the support of ComEd (Excelon Corp.), since 2001 has been selecting, planting, and evaluating various cultivars of trees, shrubs, and ground covers in a search for the most suitable and sustainable plantings for the expressway environment. About 470 trees and shrubs were planted plus more than 10,000 groundcovers. In May 2002 these plants were visually evaluated and ranked from 1–5 with one being in excellent condition and 5 being dead. The control plants planted at Urban Horticulture Research Nursery at the Morton Arboretum had 100% survival. The survival rates for groundcovers were: Euonymusfortunei (Virginia Creeper) and Hemerocallis×daylily (day lily) had 80% to 90% survival rates, respectively. Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge) plants died due to either de-icing salt sensitivity, or poor weed control. Syringa pekinensis (Peking lilac), as well as four Syringa cultivars, `President Grevy', `Summer Charm', `Charles Joly', and `James Mcfarlane', had a 100% survival rate. Survival rates for other plants were: Malus sargentii (Sargent crabapple) 93%; Robinapseudoacacia (black locust) ∼93%; Malus cultivars ∼75%; and Pinusbanksiana (jack pine) 75%. Cornussericea (red-osier dogwood) covered with 3 inches of mulch had a significantly better survival rate (90% to 100%) than the mulch treatment (60% to 80%). The growth and performance of other trees and shrubs will be also reported. This research will ensure sustainable and esthetic urban expressway plantings, while enhancing Chicago's stature as a significant urban landmark.

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J. Roger Harris and Edward F. Gilman

Abbreviations: CER, carbon exchange rate; FC, fabric containers; FG, field grown; PC, plastic containers; Ψ leaf , leaf water potential. 1 Current address: Urban Horticulture Institute, 20 Plant Science Bldg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853