Submitted to: Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2004
Publication Date: 7/30/2004
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P. 2004. Insights into woody plant adaptation and practical applications. Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance Proceedings, June 18, 2004, Lisle, IL. METRIA Proceedings Volume 13, published on the Internet at: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/nursery/metria/metria13/widrlechner/index.html
Technical Abstract: The NC7 Regional Ornamental Plant Trials were established in 1954 with the goal of diversifying the range of well-adapted woody landscape plants cultivated in the North Central United States. It accomplishes this by searching out new and promising plants not commonly found in the nursery trade and then by relying on a network of cooperators at more than 30 sites to conduct long-term evaluations of plant adaptation and aesthetic characteristics. The results of these evaluations have been analyzed and presented, first, as a series of in-house publications and, more recently, on a database accessible via the Internet. These results have served as a valuable source of data to study the importance of climatic factors as determinants of regional woody-plant adaptation. This paper reviews the findings of those studies and discusses how they can be applied to plans for targeted plant exploration, to the development of risk-assessment models for evaluating the risk that non-native plants may naturalize, and to matching species with appropriate sites for cultivation.