Resource: Cornell Urban Horticulture Institute

A tip from a commenter on my post about the Liberty Elm Project led me to discover the Urban Horticulture Institute of the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University:
The Urban Horticulture Institute currently consists of two faculty, one technician and 10 graduate students.

Founded in 1980 with the explicit mission of improving the quality of urban life by enhancing the functions of plants within the urban ecosystem, the Institute program integrates plant stress physiology, horticultural science, plant ecology and soil science and applies them to three broad areas of inquiry. They are:
  • The selection, evaluation and propagation of superior plants with improved tolerance of biotic [eg: insects, pathogens] and abiotic [eg: heat, air pollution] stresses, and enhanced functional uses in the disturbed landscape.
  • Developing improved technologies for assessing and ameliorating site limitations to improve plant growth and development.
  • Developing improved transplant technologies to insure the successful establishment of plants in the urban environment.
In addition to training for landscape professionals, their outreach section has a lot of information for motivated non-professionals. In addition to DVDs, books and pre-printed materials, many of their publications for free online. These include:
The last selection describes the advantages of planting trees from bare-root stock, instead of container-brown or balled and burlapped (B&B). This is particularly interesting in light of a report in March that it costs over $1,000 to plant a tree in New York City:
Bare root trees are one-third to one-half less expensive than B&B trees. Because they are so much lighter and many more can fit on the bed of a truck, they are cheaper to ship. Planting a bare root tree costs virtually nothing when done by volunteers with shovels. The cost of planting a B&B tree, by contrast, is markedly higher because the sheer weight of the ball requires machinery and machinery operators to load the tree, unload it, and to get it in the ground.
- Creating the Urban Forest


Urban Horticulture Institute , Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

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