Richard C. Beeson, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor — Environmental Horticulture
The major thrust of my research is to understand how the physiology of plants changes in response to dynamic environmental forces. As a woody plant horticulturist, this comprises not only micro-environment forces, but also artificial forces of pruning, fertilization, high intensity production and transplanting into landscapes. Once a concept is grasped, this knowledge is used to tinker with the "process" to improve growth, efficiency or success of the system. Most of the research focuses on water and a plants’ requirements and responses to sub-optimum levels. This ranges from evaluation of irrigation systems to modeling plant water requirements based on micro-climate and size.
Two long term projects are anticipated to commence with the turn of the century. One is to quantify tree water requirements during production from seedlings to 5-inch caliper trees. The other is to begin modeling plant shoot and root grow as function of microclimate, and quantifying effective root volumes for water withdraw during growth in container production.