Skip to main content

Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale December 1-3

More than 20 cultivars to choose from at the Hortus Forum Poinsettia Sale!

  • December 1 – 1 to 5 p.m.
  • December 2 – 12 to 4 p.m.
  • December 3 – 1 to 4 p.m.


  • The Livestock Pavilion on the Cornell Campus. [Map]


  • 6-inch pots $10 each
  • 10% off 5
  • 15% off 10

More information or to pre-order or to arrange delivery, email

Download order form.


Download poster

Urban Eden students plant trees along Cayuga Lake Inlet

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

‘Urban Eden’ students planting crabapples along Cayuga Lake Inlet. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (PLHORT/LA 4910) planted 15 disease-resistant crabapple trees along the Cayuga Lake Inlet November 9.

The Ithaca Garden Club donated the trees as part of an on-going, seven-year effort to re-establish a deteriorated grove the club donated to the City of Ithaca in 1970. The club planted its first of more than 300 crabapples along the inlet in 1922 – the year of its founding – and have donated several hundred thousand dollars to landscaping projects in the area during its long history.

The City of Ithaca’s Shade Tree Advisory Committee will fence and care for the trees under guidance of Jeanne Grace MS ’10.

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting, along with ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick stopped by to check on the tree planting progress, joining ‘Urban Eden’ instructor Nina Bassuk (left) and Ithaca Garden Club members Beverly Hillman and Beatrice Szekely. (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Planting participants. . (Photo: Carol Eichler)

Cover crop meeting draws big crowd

SIPS director Chris Smart welcomes the cover crop crowd to Cornell

SIPS director Chris Smart welcomes the cover crop crowd to Cornell

More than 170 researchers, educators, farmers, and agricultural service providers attended the Northeast Cover Crops Council’s (NECCC) Annual Meeting at The Statler Hotel on November 8 for a day-long program featuring more than 40 speakers and an evening poster session.

Speakers reported on the latest research and farmer-proven practices on a wide range of topics including techniques for establishing and terminating cover crops, their benefits, and how to get more farmers interested in cover cropping. Bianca Moebius-Clune (MS ’06, PhD ’09), Director of the USDA-NRCS Soil Health Divisiondelivered the opening keynote address. Moebius-Clune was formerly a Senior Extension Associate in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section.

“The great turnout we had is more evidence of the growing interest in using cover crops to prevent erosion, manage nutrients, suppress weeds, and increase both soil health and farm profits,” says Matt Ryan, assistant professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section and head of the Cornell Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab, who helped organize and hosted the meeting.

The second day of the meeting featured a field tour of the cover crop demonstrations at the USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Materials Center, Big Flats, N.Y.

The meeting was the first for the NECCC, whose mission is to support the successful implementation of cover crops to maximize economic, environmental, and social benefits.  The group facilitates regional collaboration between farmers, researchers and the public to foster the exchange of information, inspiration, and outcome-based research, and serves as a central clearinghouse for cover crop research in the Northeast.

Big Flats field tour at the NECCC Annual Meeting

Big Flats field tour at the NECCC Annual Meeting

Bulb planting made easy

Cornell’s Flower Bulb Research Program made short work of planting more than 30,000 bulbs into sod in demonstration strips totaling more than 2,000 feet at The Cornell Botanic Gardens and the NYSIP Foundation Seed Barn.  The entire job was completed in less than 3 hours on November 3.

How’d they do it? They used a tractor-drawn bulb planter imported from The Netherlands that slices open the sod, drops in the bulbs and then replaces the sod over them.  In these “naturalized” plantings, the bulbs will push up through the turf before the grass begins to grow in spring. The bulb mixes included daffodils, crocus, camassia, chionodoxa, allium and muscari.

“This machine greatly reduces the labor required to establishing naturalized bulb plantings,” says Bill Miller, the program’s director and a professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. Miller was assisted by Dutch intern Jos Kroon and Bluegrass Lane field assistant Jonathan Mosher.

“Some people might be concerned about the lack of precise placement of the bulbs,” notes Miller. “But our research has shown that most bulbs are forgiving about how deep they are planted, despite what you might see on the labels. They also do fine if not planted right side up.”

Miller hopes that planters like this might catch on with commercial landscapers and municipalities and result in more naturalized bulb plantings.  A benefit of this approach can be less mowing of turf areas due to the need to let the bulb foliage die back naturally.  In such areas, landscapers could substantially reduce carbon emissions from maintenance activity leading to a more sustainable landscape, Miller says.


Rossi to receive GCSAA Award for Environmental Stewardship


Frank Rossi

Frank Rossi

Source: Golf Course Management [2017-10-31]

Frank Rossi, associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, and one of the world’s leading experts on turfgrass science, has been selected to receive the 2018 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the board of directors of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Rossi, 55, will officially receive the award Tuesday, Feb. 6, during the Opening Session of the 2018 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio (Feb. 3-8).

The GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognize “an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf; a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent’s image as a steward of the land.”

“Dr. Rossi’s passion and hard work have helped drive the golf industry to a more environmentally focused future,” says GCSAA President Bill H. Maynard, CGCS. “He has not only been at the forefront of sustainability in the golf industry, but as a former superintendent himself, he has been a great source of information and support for superintendents around the world. We are pleased to honor him for his accomplishments.”

Rossi says, “Of course I am filled with gratitude to the GCSAA and all my colleagues and students over the years. I am quite humbled receiving this award. While I’ve spent my career working in the environmental area, I never thought or imagined it would ever be recognized.”

Among Rossi’s accomplishments, he served as a consultant for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens at Bethpage Black, and developed sand and grass specifications for the 2016 Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro. He has also done consulting work for Central Park, the New York Yankees and the Green Bay Packers.

“I am very fortunate to work in a field where every day there is a new challenge,” Rossi says. “Of course, these high-profile venues and events leave little margin for error, but when you work closely with professional golf and sports turf managers, you know you have expert problem solvers — can-do individuals who, when they commit to something, will make it happen.”

Read the whole article.

Rossi (right) explains robotic mower research at Bluegrass Lane Turf Field Day in 2015.

Rossi (right) explains robotic mower research at Bluegrass Lane Turf Field Day in 2015.

Thinking about graduate school in Plant Sciences?

From Patty Chan, Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society:

Here’s your chance to learn the ropes.

Pi Alpha Xi horticulture honor society will host a Plant Sciences Grad School Panel for all CALS students on Wednesday, November 8th, 5:00-6:30 p.m. in 404 Plant Science.

The program is specifically tailored to students currently applying, or considering applying to grad school for programs related to plant sciences.  This panel will feature members of faculty and staff involved with graduate programs and admissions in the field as well as current graduate students studying in plant sciences.

This will be a great opportunity for anyone with questions about the application process or wondering whether graduate school would be a good fit for them.

Refreshments will be served. Come join us.

Brown’s apple breeding efforts featured in Atlas Obscura

Susan Brown

Apple breeder Susan Brown, professor in the Horticulture Section, explains all that’s involved in selecting and commercializing new apple varieties in an October 20 article Every Apple You Eat Took Years and Years to Make in Atlas Obscura.

“As the head of the apple-breeding program at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, one of the largest apple-breeding programs in the world, Brown is searching for fruit that no one has ever seen or tasted before—beautiful apples that can withstand the dangers of the field, that grow uniform and large, that store well, that can be shipped easily to grocery stores, that have deep and satisfying flavors, and that are, above all, crisp and juicy, the two qualities consumers most desire. By harnessing the criss-cross power of genetic variation, she can create new apples, better than any already for sale.”

It took 11 years from cross to commercialization for Snapdragon, one of her latest releases, “one of fastest tracks in apple-breeding history.”

“’Some perennial breeders never get to this stage,’ says Brown. ‘You can retire before you know your variety is a success.’”

Read the whole article.


Got a great jack-o’-lantern?

From Matt Hayes, Managing Editor and Social Media Officer, CALS Office of Marketing and Communications:

Are you ready for Halloween? We are.

Show off your own jack-o’-lantern creation by using the hashtag #CornellCALS or by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

We will select our favorite for a $20 gift card to The Cornell Store.

The Emerging Industry of Hard Cider

Greg Peck

Greg Peck

From Cornell Research website:

From the earliest days of the American colonies, hard cider was a common staple. European settlers brought their cider-making skills with them, along with apple cultivars especially suited to the process. Yet, after prohibition ended in 1933, cider making in the United States was all but forgotten—until now. “Since 2011 the growth of the cider industry has been astronomical,” says Gregory M. Peck, School of Integrative Plant Science, Horticulture. “There’s been more than a 900 percent increase in the volume of cider produced in the U.S. New York has more individual producers than any other state in the country. Right now, we have about 85, and that number is growing constantly. I’m always getting emails and calls for help from new businesses.”

Peck is perhaps the foremost scientific expert in the country on cider apples and cider making. He is at the forefront of the cider renaissance and a large part of his research revolves around this emerging industry. “Cider apple growers and producers need a lot of technical support,” he says. “They need research to help them figure out which cultivars make the best cider, how to grow them, how to harvest them, how to store them. Those are the questions I’m trying to answer for the industry.”

Read the whole article.

Dreer Award offers opportunities to pursue horticultural interests abroad

From Nina Bassuk:

The Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science offers a wonderful opportunity once a year, the Frederick Dreer Award, that allows one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing his or her interests related to horticulture.

See the application and instructions that spell out the procedure for applying. Basically it is quite simple. Submit a written proposal to the Dreer Committee by the deadline (March 5, 2018 in this cycle), which is followed by an informal interview, generally in a week or two. The faculty receives the recommendation of the Dreer Committee and votes on the nominee.

The only obligation of the Dreer award winner is to write to the Dreer Committee monthly while overseas, and upon return to the United States, give a presentation about their time abroad to students and faculty.

Please look into this opportunity seriously. It can be taken as a summer and a semester’s leave or a year’s leave of absence during school or upon graduation. If you would like to talk over a potential idea for the Dreer with a member of the Committee (and we encourage you to do so), please contact Nina Bassuk (Horticulture) Josh Cerra (Landscape Architecture) or Marvin Pritts (Horticulture).

View a recent Dreer Award Seminar video:

View more Dreer Award seminar videos.

Skip to toolbar