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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Collecting Landscape Trees and Shrubs in Ukraine for the Evaluation of Aesthetic Quality and Adaptation in the North Central United States

Authors
item Widrlechner, Mark
item Schutzki, Robert - MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
item Yukhnovsky, Vasily - NATIONAL AGRI. UNIVERSITY
item Sviatetsky, Victor - NATIONAL AGRI. UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Long-term evaluations of woody landscape plants introduced from the former nation of Yugoslavia were conducted throughout the north-central United States in the 1970s and 80s. Results of those tests showed that relatively few of those introductions were well-adapted to climatic and soil conditions in the north-central states. Based on these results, criteria were developed to focus future exploration for landscape trees and shrubs from more similar environments in eastern and central Europe. These criteria were used to identify the forest-grassland transition zone in the northern half of Ukraine as a region with great potential, because of similarities to the north central United States in climatic extremes, soil types and natural plant communities. In 1999, the National Plant Germplasm System of the United States funded a collaborative seed-collection mission involving researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University, and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine. The exploration trip took place in September, 2000, covering about 2000 miles of travel to wooded sites throughout the forest-grassland transition zone. Eighty-nine seed collections, including 26 genera and 45 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials were obtained. These collections should prove very valuable in increasing the diversity of stress-tolerant landscape plants for the north-central states, ultimately benefitting both the nursery industry and the gardening public. Seeds are now being grown for regional evaluation.

Technical Abstract: Past experiences with long-term evaluations of woody landscape plants from Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the north central United States indicated that a relatively low proportion of the introductions were well adapted to climatic and soil conditions. Based on these results, criteria were developed to focus future exploration for landscape trees and shrubs from more analogous environments in eastern and central Europe. Application of these criteria identified the forest-steppe transition zone in the northern half of Ukraine as a region with great potential, because of similarities to the north central United States in climatic extremes, soil types and natural plant communities. In 1999, the National Plant Germplasm System of the United States funded a collaborative seed-collection mission involving researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University, and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine. The exploration trip took place between 7 and 26 September 2000 and encompassed ca. 3200 km of travel to wooded sites through the forest- steppe transition zone. Eighty-nine seed collections, including 26 genera and 45 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials were obtained. The mission, its collections and conditions at collection sites are described in this report.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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