CHREF Update

By Mike Schleining, Arbor Valley Nursery

CHREF Donates to Three CSU Hort Research Projects

Steve Echter (left) honored with an award for his service.

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation (CHREF) would again like to express its sincere gratitude to Steve Echter for his dedicated service to CHREF board over the years and commend him for the profound impact he has had on countless students’ lives and the trajectory of our industry. Steve’s legacy will endure as a testament to his commitment to shaping the future of our field. He was honored at the Industry Celebration Happy Hour in January.

The board is also excited to announce that it is funding three new research projects – led by faculty at Colorado State University (CSU) – for a total of $45,000.

Project 1: A State-of-the-Art System to Quantify Water and Nutrient Use in Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Plants

Led by William Bauerle, Ph.D., this project addresses the critical need to quantify nutrient and water use in horticulture plant production cycles, aiming to develop best management practices for optimal resource delivery.

By optimizing fertilizer and water inputs, the project aims to achieve cost savings while reducing environmental impact, including water quality damage and greenhouse gas emissions. The research outcomes will contribute to Colorado’s leadership in progressive horticultural practices.”

Project 2: Optimization of Light Intensity for Perennial Stock Plant Production and Cutting Propagation

Led by Chad Miller, Ph.D., this project investigates the impact of daily light integral (DLI) on stock plant yield and cutting quality for perennial species. The research aims to optimize lighting conditions to enhance propagation practices and greenhouse efficiency, with a focus on improving and increasing plant availability for the landscape industry.

“Enhanced production efficiency and increased plant availability will support stakeholders involved in plant propagation and marketing, contributing to the growth and sustainability of the industry.”

Project 3: Colorado Collaborative Exchange for Tree Monitoring and Evaluation

Led by Daniel Burcham, Ph.D., this project aims to establish a collaborative platform for tree monitoring and evaluation, facilitating knowledge exchange among industry professionals and researchers. The initiative seeks to improve tree management practices and enhance urban forest health through data-driven decision-making.

“By leveraging collective expertise and resources, the project will contribute to sustainable urban landscapes and enhance the resilience of Colorado’s green infrastructure.”

Mike Schleining, CCNP, Arbor Valley Nursery