Since 1954, ARS researchers at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, Iowa have coordinated one of our nation’s longest-standing collaborative programs to evaluate promising, new woody landscape plants, the NC-7 Regional Ornamental Trials. That program conducts long-term evaluations of trees, shrubs and vines at about 30 sites, mostly within the North Central US. The network of evaluation sites brings together partners with a broad range of expertise from University Agricultural Experiment Stations, public gardens and arboreta, and the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Centers.
Results from the evaluations are made available to nursery professionals, landscapers, horticulturists, and the gardening public through the Internet. See NC7-Ornamental Trials to access plant evaluations and see http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep00/woody0900.htm for background information published in Agricultural Research magazine about the Trials and its website.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Trials in 2004, a commemorative symposium was held in conjunction with the 13th meeting of METRIA, the Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance. Three papers with additional information about the history of the Trials, research findings that have resulted from data generated by the Trials, and perspectives on future directions and new technologies on the Trials are posted on the METRIA website.
Historical Overview of the NC7 Trials
Insights into Woody Plant Adaptation and Practical Applications
Future Developments: Information Technology, Data Collection, and Getting the Word Out
Click here for NC-7 Trials website.