Research Institute

The Horticultural Research Institute proudly supports scientific research and horticultural students for the advancement of the industry. HRI was established by industry leaders on the premise that no one could better direct needed research to advance horticulture than the very people who work in it, day in and day out.

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 13 2018

The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) was recently confirmed in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Xf was first identified in the European Union (EU) in olive groves in Italy in 2013, triggering a quick response from the EU in the form of stringent regulations on plant material imported to the EU. Now plant material known to be susceptible to Xf originating from the U....

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. November 01 2018

While recent reports of a new (to North America) insect pest of boxwood in the Toronto area have not yet been confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or USDA APHIS, many in the nursery and landscape industries are rightfully concerned and asking questions.

In case you missed it, a homeowner reported seeing an unusual moth on her neighbor’s boxwood hedge in O...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. October 02 2018

How do you define a green roof? The first image that comes to my mind is a little, hobbit-like house somewhere in Scandinavia with a goat eating grass on the roof. That may be a bit simplistic; the green roofs of yore have come a long way.
The ‘urban renaissance,’ a term used to describe the comeback of many city centers in the US, coincides with the revival of ...

Jennifer Gray July 25 2018

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the AmericanHort foundation, is pleased to announce the receipt of $300,000 in donations during its reception held in conjunction with Cultivate’18 in Columbus, Ohio.


More than 175 industry professionals attended the summer reception, which celebrated HRI supporters. The reception recognized more than $290,000 in do...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 21 2018

AmericanHort has been invited to participate in the upcoming Customer-Stakeholder Workshop for USDA-ARS National Program 305, which is planned for the end of May.
National Program 305 (NP 305) aims to increase cropping efficiency, productivity, quality, marketability, and protection of annual, perennial, greenhouse, and nursery crops while maintaining or enhancing worker sa...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

Research on how alcohol in trees impacts ambrosia beetle populations has been recently featured in major scientific news outlets. Dr. Chris Ranger, USDA-ARS, recently published new results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a highly reputable scientific and peer-reviewed journal.
PNAS features innovative, cutting-edge research that is often highl...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. May 08 2018

HRI congratulates Leala Machesney as the 2017-2018 recipient of Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship.
Machesney is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Maine pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture with hopes to eventually attend a graduate program in horticulture. Machesney has always been passionate about horticultur...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 24 2018

USDA APHIS has announced new areas being brought under the imported fire ant (IFA) quarantine, effective immediately. Counties in North Carolina and Tennessee are impacted.

  • North Carolina: all of Warren County
  • Tennessee: all of Cumberland, Hamblen, and Jefferson Counties, as well as portions of Trousdale County
IFA infestations wer...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 24 2018

The Protecting Bees website now offers a searchable tool to help identify plants that are attractive to bee pollinators.
The ‘Find Plants’ function enables a search for pollinator-attractive plants based on zip code, desired bee type, bloom period, sun exposure, soil moisture, and level of be...

Jill Calabro, Ph.D. April 10 2018

In late March, USDA formally announced that it has no plans to regulate plants developed using new breeding techniques, such as gene editing, as long as the plants are created without the use of a plant pest vector or donor and they themselves are not plant pests.
This continues USDA’s previous position and provides clarification following proposed revisions regarding...

A group of House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan agricultural labor reform bill on October 30. How does the bill address the current H-2A program? What options are available for existing workers without proper immigration status? What about enforcement provisions? And, where might there be room for improvement as the process advances?

This stacked panel of experts will plunge into the current and potential application of exciting new technologies showing promise in automating and innovating the management of nursery stock, and other environments including arboretums and forest stands. New technologies explored during this seminar include drone-based observation and sampling, canopy robotics, and a variety of radio-frequen...