Gardening buzz: Horticulture Research Farm Field Day

Esther McGinnis
Devils Lake Daily Journal

DEVILS LAKE - Pandemic gardening and ornamental landscaping became a huge trend in 2020 as more individuals stayed at home, and this trend shows no sign of declining.

To meet the need for information on hardy trees, ornamental shrubs and edible plants for home landscapes, North Dakota State University will hold a field day and tour on Aug. 11 at the NDSU Horticulture Research Farm near Absaraka, N.D.

The field day will run from 3:30 to 7 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. Joe Zeleznik, NDSU Extension horticulturist, and Stephen Ahrenholz, a graduate student at NDSU, will give a short presentation on the hidden arboreta across North Dakota.

NDSU faculty and personnel will lead a riding tour at 4 p.m. to showcase the latest tree, shrub, fruit and vegetable research.

The Dale E. Herman Research Arboretum is part of the NDSU Horticulture Research Farm near Absaraka.

The 80-acre farm includes the Dale E. Herman Research Arboretum, which has the largest collection of trees in the northern Great Plains. It contains more than 5,000 species, cultivars and selections of trees and shrubs.

The tour also will feature fruit research, including hardy grape breeding and evaluation of raspberry cultivars. In addition, participants can learn about new fruit crops for North Dakota such as haskaps and black currants. Vegetable growers will see the latest research on peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes.

“The arboretum is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon in the cool shade of the trees,” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist. “Beyond admiring the beauty of the place, I guarantee that you will come away with ideas to plant new hardy fruits or trees in your home landscape.”

New this year, the field day will feature CBD hemp grown in a high tunnel as a high-value specialty crop.

The day will end with an arboretum tree walk led by members of the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program.

A light dinner will be available after the tour until supplies run out.

Directions to the NDSU Horticulture Research Farm:

From Interstate 94, take Wheatland exit 324 onto Cass County Road 5 and head north toward Wheatland. The road curves to the west shortly after passing through Wheatland. Turn right and head north, continuing on Cass County 5 (a paved road). At the Absaraka intersection (Cass County 5 and 30th Street Southeast, marked with Absaraka turn sign), turn right. Continue east until you reach the first left (section line) and turn left (149th Avenue Southeast) and head north. Continue north until you reach the first left (section line) and turn left (29th Street Southeast). This road is marked with a sign that says “Minimal Maintenance Road.” The arboretum is down this road on the left.

Use the following GPS address: 14850 29th St. S.E., Amenia, ND 58004. This address takes you to the crossroads of 29th Street Southeast and 149th Avenue Southeast. The farm is just due west from this address on the minimal-maintenance road, 29th Street Southeast.