Woody Plant Introduction Programs

Pastore, Carla
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University of Delaware
Plant introduction is often a primary goal of profit and not-for-profit horticultural institutions. In the past many introduction programs were designed to collect, test and select superior woody plants, but did not include a structured system to promote introductions to the wholesale or retail nursery trade. This study examines more recent programs that include a strong promotional component. woody plant introduction programs in the United States and Canada are analyzed in this research paper. These programs contain a combination of components including testing, selection, registration, patenting, trademarking, royalty collection, promotion and marketing. The purpose of the paper is threefold. First, it is to provide an understanding and appreciation for a variety of introduction programs through an examination of their components and organizational models. Second, it is to supply information on designing and implementing a new program or modifying an existing program. And third, it is to direct the reader to sources for more information on this topic. Research methods used to collect data on this subject were primarily site visits and telephone interviews with initiators and cooperators of these programs. Information on each program has been standardized to provide the reader with a basis for comparison. Since no two woody plant introduction programs will be exactly alike, each should be tailored to serve the needs of the institution, the geographic region, and the horticulture industry. The design process begins with an examination of the institution's mission statement and available resources. Planning includes the preparation of written goals and objectives, five year budget and program model. A working knowledge of plant registration, patenting and trademarking is essential. The design should include a promotional program which maximizes resources and targets a large audience. Open communication and participation with the horticulture industry should be fostered. And finally a strong leader, with an understanding of the introduction process, contacts in the horticulture industry, and energy and enthusiasm, is critical to the success of a woody plant introduction program.
Horticulture , Plant introductions , Woody plants , Plant breeding