NC State Extension

Thomas G. Ranney Curriculum Vitae

Tom Ranney knealing with mountains in the background

Professor
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University
Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center
455 Research Drive
Mills River, NC 28759
828-684-3562 Ext. 136
tom_ranney@ncsu.edu

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Research Focus

Breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops.

Education

B.S. 1981 Natural Resources The Ohio State University
M.S. 1986 Horticulture/Plant Protection Cornell University
Ph.D. 1989 Horticulture/Plant Protection Cornell University

Professional Experience

  • JC Raulston Distinguished Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University,
    Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, North Carolina, 2015-present. Position: 100% research on plant breeding and new crop development.
  • Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University,
    Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, North Carolina, 1999-2015. Position: 100% research on plant breeding and new crop development.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State
    University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, North Carolina, 1995-1999. Position: 100% research on plant breeding and new crop development.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Mills River, North Carolina, 1989-1995. Position: 80% research / 20% extension on production, culture and physiology.

Honors and Awards

  • Extension Educational Aids Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 1994.
  • Outstanding Ornamentals Publication Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 1998.
  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Nursery Crops, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2003.
  • Research Friend of Extension Award, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, 2004.
  • Porter Henegar Memorial Award: For Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Horticulture Research, Southern Nursery Association, 2006.
  • H. Marc Cathey Award: Recognizing Outstanding Scientific Research that has Enriched the Field of Horticulture, American Horticultural Society, 2008.
  • Fellow, International Plant Propagator’s Society, Eastern Region, 2012.
  • Outstanding Graduate Educator, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2012.
  • Outstanding Contributions to the Horticulture Industry, North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, 2013.
  • Julian C. Miller, Sr. Distinguished Research Award, Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science, 2014.
  • Outstanding Ornamentals Publication Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2014
  • Fellow, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2015.
  • JC Raulston Distinguished Professor, 2015.

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University Service

  • Member of the Plant Physiology Graduate Faculty, 2000-present.
  • Hort. Sci. Graduate Admissions Committee, 2004-2008.
  • NC Ag. Research Service, Breeder’s Release Board, 2007 – 2009, 2014 – present. Chair 2015-2016
  • NC State Plant Breeding Center, 2008-present.
  • Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center: Special Facilities Committee (Chair), Landscape Committee (Chair), Secretarial Functions Committee, Field Day Planning Committee, and the Computer and Technology Committee (Chair). Various dates.
  • Search Committees: Department Head of Horticultural Science, CALS Director of Research, Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum (twice), Urban Horticulture Extension Specialist, Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist, Ubran Horticulture Specialist, WNC Nursery Research/Extension Speciealist, WNCTomato Breeding and Genetics Researcher, Small Fruit and Vegetable Genomics/Breeder, Plants for Human Health Institute.. Various dates.
  • Department of Horticultural Science, NC State: Seminar Committee, Departmental Advisory Committee, Post-Tenure Review Committee (Chair, twice), Graduate Admissions Committee, Computing Committee, Distance Education Committee, Newsletter Committee, Departmental Visioning Committee, Honors and Awards Committee (Chair), and serve as faculty mentor for junior faculty. Various dates.
  • Member of the Biotechnology Graduate Faculty, 2010-present.
  • CALS Dean’s Enrichment Grants Program, Review Panel, 2014.
  • CALS Innovations and Efficiency Committee, 2015.
  • CALS Blue Cross Blue Shield / Kellogg Professorship Screening Committee, 2015.

Professional Service

  • North Carolina Urban Forest Council, Board of Directors, 1992-1998.
  • Tree Physiology, Editorial Review Board, 1993-1996.
  • Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance, Board of Directors and Treasurer, 1996-2002.
  • Southern Nursery Association:
    Section Chair and Editor, SNA Research Conference, Landscape Section, 2001-2004.
    Section Chair and Editor, SNA Research Conference, Plant Breeding Section, 2004-2007.
    Porter Henegar Research Award Committee, Southern Nursery Association, 2006-2015.
  • American Society for Horticultural Science:
    Associate Editor, Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 2001-2004.
    Chair, Ornamental Plant Breeding Working Group, 2005
    Investment Trustee, 2006-2008.
    Scholarship Awards Committee, 2011.
    Vice Chair Bioenergy Working Group, 2012-2014. Chair, 2015.
    Nominations Committee, 2013-2014.
    Julian C. Miller, Sr. Distinguished Research Award Selection Committee, Southern Region, 2014-2015.
    Outstanding Graduate Eduacator Award Selection Committee, 2013-2015. Chair, 2016.
  • Landscape Plant Development Center:
    Board of Directors, 2003-2008.
    Chair, Strategic Planning Committee, Landscape Plant Development Center, 2008.
  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Advisory Committee, Western North Carolina, 2004– 2009.
  • Western Carolina University:
    Advisory Committee, Prof. Science Master’s Program, 2006.
    Adjunct Faculty Member. Ongoing.
  • Clemson University, Adjunct Faculty Member. Ongoing.
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Advisory Committee, Biotechnology Program, 2006.
  • Haywood Community College, Advisory Committee, Biotechnology Program, 2006.
  • American Nursery and Landscape Association, Task Force on Invasive Species, 2007-2008.
  • North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Invasive Plant Committee, 2008-present.
  • International Plant Propagators Society, Board Member, Eastern Region, 2009-2012.
  • National Review Team Member, University of Florida IFAS, Comprehensive Review, 2010.
  • Served as a reviewer of journal articles in the field of plant breeding, genetics, production, and physiology for the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Crop Science, European J. of Plant Path., HortScience, J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci., J. of Plant Registrations, and Tree Physiology. Ongoing.
  • Served as outside reviewer for Tenure and Promotion for Clemson University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of British Columbia, University of Florida, University of Maine, University of Minnesota, University of Tenn., and Washington State University. Ongoing.
  • Scientific Grant Reviewer for the HOrticultural Research Institure. 2015.
  • Provided over 150 lectures nationally and internationally on topics relating to horticultural science. Ongoing.

Professional and Honorary Memberships

American Society for Horticultural Science, North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, International Plant Propagators Society, Magnolia Society International, The American Rhododendron Society, Azalea Society of America, Gamma Sigma Delta, Pi Alpha Xi, and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.

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Graduate Students – Served as Major Advisor

  • David L. Curtis, 1995. M.S. Thesis: Rooting and subsequent overwintering survival of stem cuttings of Stewartia ovata.
  • Patrick J. McGuigan, 1995. M.S. Thesis: Micropropagation of Stewartia pseudocamellia and propagation of selected species of Quercus by stem cuttings.
  • Hunter L. Stubbs, 1996. M.S. Thesis: Propagation by stem cuttings and nitrogen nutrition of containerized Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Carolina Sapphire’.
  • Clifford Ruth, 1996. M. HS. Special Topic: Differential tolerance of holly taxa to flooding and poor drainage.
  • Cindy A. Patton, 1997. M.S. Thesis: Host plant resistance to Japanese beetles: Role of endogenous allelochemicals in plant defense. Awards: 2nd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 1996.
  • Amy F. Fulcher, 1997. M.S. Thesis: Host plant resistance among Malus taxa to Japanese beetle, European red mite, and two spotted spider mite. Awards: 3rd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 1997.
  • J. Dale Witt, 1998. M.S. Thesis: Biorational plant protectants for controlling adult Japanese beetles.
  • Jason J. Griffin, 1999. M.S. Thesis: Vegetative propagation and culture of Thuja ‘Green Giant’, Magnolia virginiana ‘Santa Rosa’, and Quercus phillyraeoides ‘Emerald Sentinel’.
  • Bradley T. Holland, 2002. M. HS. Special Topic: Evaluating recovery of Cupressaceae taxa after flooding at contrasting temperatures.
  • Jason J. Griffin, 2002. Ph.D. Dissertation: Interactive effects of environmental stresses on photosynthesis.
  • Andrew C. Bell, 2004. Ph.D. Dissertation: Host plant resistance to fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) in the Rosaceae subfamily Maloideae. Awards: 2nd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Ph.D., 2002; 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Ph.D., 2000.
  • Richard T. Olsen, 2006. Ph.D. Dissertation: Utilizing polyploidy for developing improved nursery crops.
    Awards: ASHS, Krezdorn Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research and Writing, 2007; 1st Place, ASHS Warren S. Barham Ph.D. Graduate Student Paper, 2005; 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Ph.D., 2005; 1st Place, Southern Region IPPS, Student Research Competition, 2005; 3rd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Ph.D., 2003.
  • Ryan N. Contreras, 2006. M.S. Thesis: Azaleodendrons: Investigating parentage, fertility, and effects of polyploidy among hybrids of deciduous azaleas and evergreen rhododendrons.
    Awards: 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2006; 1st Place, ASHS Southern Region Norman F. Childers, M.S., Research Competition, 2006.
  • Jeff R. Jones, 2008. M.S. Thesis: Investigating prevalence, induction, and fertility of polyploid Rhododendron L. and the development of protocols for vegetative propagation. Awards: 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2007; 2nd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2008.
  • Elisabeth M. Meyer, 2009. M.S. Thesis: Evaluation, propagation, and improvement of Gordoniae trees and an insterspecific Hypericum hybrid. Awards: 3rd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2008; 1st place. SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2009.
  • Clara E. Trueblood, 2009. M.S. Thesis: An invasive species assessment system for the North Carolina horticultural industry. Awards: 1st place. Southern Weed Sci. Soc. Annual meeting, M.S. student presentation, 2009.
  • Kevin Parris, 2011. M.S. Cooperative program with Clemson University.
    Thesis: Micropropagation and cytogenetics of Magnolia. Awards: 1st place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2009; 1st place, SNA Research Conference, M.S, 2010.
  • Todd Rounsaville, 2011. M.S. Thesis: Cytogenetics, Micropropagation, and Reproductive Biology of Berberis, Mahonia, and Miscanthus.
  • Kelly Oates, 2011. M.S. Thesis: Genetic Improvement of Rudbeckia and Evaluation of a New Triploid Campsis Cultivar. Awards: 1st place, ASHS Southern Region Norman F. Childers, M.S., Graduate Student Research Competition, 2011. NCSU Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, 2011.
  • Jason Lattier, 2012. M.S. Thesis: Cytogenetics, micropropagation, and polyploid induction of selected nursery crops. Awards: Horticultural Research Institute Spring Meadow Nursery Scholarship, 2011; Syngenta Glenn Goldsmith Breeding Excellence Scholarship, 2011; 2nd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2012; 1st place, SR ASHS Norman F. Childers MS Student Competition.
  • Irene Palmer, 2013. M.S. Thesis: Breeding and genetics of Miscanthus and Saccharum. Awards: 3rd Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Undergraduate, 2007; 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, Undergraduate, 2008; 1st Place, SNA Student Research Conference, M.S., 2012.
  • Dominic Gillooly, Current Student. M.S. Research: Cytogenetics, tissue culture, propagation, and breeding of selected nursery crops. 2nd Place, SR-ASHS Norman F. Childers, M.S., Research Competition, 2014.
  • Whitney Phillips, Current Student. M.S. Research: Taxonomy, breeding, and tissue culture of selected nursery crops.

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Graduate Students – Served as Committee Member

Postdoctoral Associates and Research Scholars Supervised

  • Dr. Zenaida Viloria. 2004-2005. Area of specialization: Plant tissue culture, plant breeding and genetics.
  • Dr. Darren Touchell. 2005-present. Area of specialization: Plant tissue culture, micropropagation, plant breeding, molecular biology, bioenergy crops. Coordinates tissue culture lab and associated activities.
  • Dr. Mitch Sewell. 2010-2012. Area of specialization: population and evolutionary genetics, plant genomics, quantitative genetics, and molecular genomics.

Interns Supervised (Undergraduate and Post Graduate)

  • Jon Roethling. 2006. Project: Breeding new nursery crops.
  • Irene Palmer. 2007-2010. Project: Crossability, cytogentetics, and reproductive pathways in Rudbeckia subgenus Rudbeckia.
  • Jason Lattier. 2009. Project: In vitro regeneration and polyploid induction of Acer platanoides ‘Crimson Sentry’.
  • Kim Shearer. 2011-2013. Projects: 1)Interspecific and interploid hybridization among sympatric azaleas in the southern Appalachian Mountains. 2) Ploidy levels and relative genome sizes of species, hybrids, and cultivars of dogwood.
  • David Roberts. 2012. Project: Ploidy manipulation of interspecific dogwood hybrids.
  • Dominic Gillooly. 2013. Project: Survey of ploidy levels and relative genome sizes in Kalmia sp.
  • Winston Beck. 2013. Project: Ploidy levels and interploid hybridization in panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata).
  • Will Hembree. 2014. Project: Determining ploidy and relative genome sizes in Deutzia spp.
  • Laura Kaderabek. 2014. Project: Influence of induced polyploid on fertility and morphology of Hydrangea macrophylla.
  • Tracy Thomasson. 2015. Project: Breeding and genetics of Aucuba.
  • Connor Ryan. 2015. Project: Cytogenetics of Illicium.

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Publications (Refereed) Since 1996

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Publications Summary

  • Refereed Journal Articles: 81
  • Research Reports, Symposium Articles, etc.: 119
  • Extension Bulletins: 1
  • Extension Leaflets: 4
  • Abstracts: 39
  • Popular and Misc. Articles: 26

For a complete publication list see: https://mcilab.ces.ncsu.edu/mcilab-publications/.

Patents and Plant Introductions

Patents

  • Calycanthus ‘Venus’, PP15,925. Aug. 23, 2005.
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA1’ Invincibelle™ Spirit, PP20,765. Feb. 16, 2010.
  • Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Pink Storm’, PP20,920. April 6, 2010.
  • Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’, PP20,950. April 27, 2010.
  • Chaenomeles specios ‘Scarlet Storm’, PP20,951. April 27, 2010.
  • Clethra alnifolia ‘Crystalina’, PP21,561. Dec. 7, 2010.
  • Weigela florida ‘Sunset’, PP23,212. Nov. 27, 2012.
  • Exochorda ‘Blizzard’, PP23,329. Jan. 15, 2013.
  • Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’, PP24,014. Nov. 5, 2013.
  • Callicarpa ‘NCCX1’ Purple Pearls™, PP26,000. Oct. 2015.
  • Deutzia ‘NCDX1’ Yuki Snowflake™, PP25,916. Sept. 22, 2015.
  • Hypericum calycinum ‘NCHC1’ Golden Rule™, PP25,941. Sept. 22, 2016.
  • Albizia julibrissin ‘NCAJ1’, Chocolate Fountain™, PP25,813. Aug. 18, 2015.
  • Cornus ‘NCCH1’ Little Ruby™, PP26,542. Mar. 29, 2016.
  • Pyrus ‘NCPX1’ Javelin™, PP26,539. Mar. 29, 2016.
  • Miscanthus ‘NCMS1’ My Fair Maiden™, PP26,387. Feb. 2, 2016.
  • Prunus ‘NCPH1’ Pink Cascade™, pending.
  • Deutzia ‘NCDX2’ Yuki Cherry Blossom™, pending.
  • Ilex verticillata ‘NCIV1’ Little Golblin™, pending.
  • Ligustrum ‘NCLX1’ Golden Ticket™, pending.
  • Viburnum ‘NCVX1’ Shiny Dancer™, pending.
  • Viburnum ‘NCVR1’ Emerald Envy™, pending.
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA2’ Invincibelle™ Spirit II, pending.
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA3’ Invincibelle™ Ruby, pending.
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA4’ Incrediball™ Blush, pending.
  • Magnolia ‘NCMX1’ Mercury™, pending.

Other Plant Introductions

  • xGordlinia grandiflora ‘Sweet Tea’.
  • Hypericum androsemum ‘Picasso’, ‘Matisse’, and ‘Pollock’.
  • Mahonia ‘JC Raulston’
  • Illicium floridanum ‘Swamp Hobbit’
  • Rhododendron minus var. minus ‘Southern Cerise’

For more information on plant introductions see:

https://mcilab.ces.ncsu.edu/plant-introductions/.

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Invited Presentations (Since 2003)

  • Dreaming plants. J.C. Raulston Arboretum. Raleigh, NC. Oct. 2015.
  • Reticulating evolution: Trials and tribulations of Mahonia/Berberis breeding. Mahonia Summit, Squamish, WA. Feb., 2015.
  • A world of opportunities: Breeding breakthrough plants. The Western Nursery and Trade Show, Kansas City, MO. Jan., 2015.
  • Dreaming up plants. Farwest Trade Show, Portland, OR. Aug., 2014.
  • Applications of ploidy manipulation and analysis in an applied nursery-crop breeding program. Invited presentation for the Ornamental Plant Breeding Workshop. ASHS. Palm Desert, CA. July, 2013.
  • Genetic reunions and recombinations. Southern Nursery Association, Southern Plant Conference. Atlanta, GA. August, 2013.
  • Bioenergy crops: The next generation. Feedstock production workshop, NCDA&CS, Raleigh, NC. Dec., 2013.
  • Rhododendron research: Tramping through mountain balds and double helices. Joint conference of the American Rhododendron Society and the Azaleas Society of America, Asheville, NC. April, 2012.
  • A world of opportunities: Genetic reunions and new plant development. The Japanese Nursery Association, Kawaguchi, Japan. June, 2012.
  • Population control: Quantifying and interpreting measures of propagule pressure. Ornamental Plant Breeding Workshop, American Society for Horticultural Science. Miami, FL. July, 2012.
  • Plant breeding methods. International Plant Propagators Soc. Philadelphia, PA. Oct., 2012.
  • Building a mountain bald. T.G. Ranney. J.C. Raulston Arboretum. Raleigh, NC. March, 2012.
  • Building a mountain bald. T.G. Ranney. Woody Plant Conference. Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA. July 25, 2012.
  • Must have trees and shrubs for modern landscapes. North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Green & Growin’ Show. Greensboro, NC. Jan. 2011.
  • The new age of bioenergy crops: research and development of fuelstocks for North Carolina. North Carolina Biotechnology Center. Asheville, NC. April, 2011.
  • Energy canes: Promising fuelstocks for North Carolinas diverse energy needs. Blue Ridge Sustainability Inst., Asheville, NC. Jan., 2010.
  • Selecting and breeding new plants for modern landscapes. North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association Green and Grown’ Show. Winston-Salem, NC, Jan., 2010.
  • Developing non-invasive landscape plants. Blue Ridge Parkway Headquarters, Asheville, NC, Feb., 2010.
  • Progress developing non-invasive nursery crops, Eastern Region, Intl. Plant Prop. Soc., Warwick, RI. Sept., 2010.
  • Breeding new plants for modern landscapes, Southern Region, Inter. Plant Prop. Soc., Raleigh, NC. Oct., 2010.
  • Breeding non-invasive nursery crops. USDA Floral and Nursery Crops Research Initiative Overview. Cleveland, OH. Oct., 2009.
  • Making plants from scratch. Speaking of Gardening Symposium. Asheville, NC. Aug., 2009.
  • From genotype to phenotype: adventures in plant breeding. JC Raulston Arboretum. Raleigh, NC. March, 2008.
  • Breeding non-invasive nursery crops. NC Arboretum, Invasive Plant Workshop. Asheville, NC. Aug., 2008.
  • Novel applications of plant tissue culture. International Plant Propagators Society. Denver, CO. Sept., 2008.
  • New opportunities for breeding polyploidy nursery crops. Raleigh, NC, Oct., 2008.
  • Energy canes: Ideal crops for North Carolina diverse energy needs. Bioenergy Field Day, Wallace, NC. Oct., 2008.
  • Agricultural Biotechnology. Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in WNC. Asheville, NC. Feb., 2007.
  • Progress in breeding non-invasive nursery crops. International Plant Propagators Annual Meeting. Chattanooga, TN. Oct., 2007.
  • Bringing intrigue to the urban forest. NC Urban Forest Council, Greensboro, NC. Jan., 2007.
  • Developing non-invasive nursery crops. NC Nursery and Landscape Association. Greensboro, NC. Jan., 2007.
  • Conifers for Western North Carolina. NC Cooperative Extension Service, Lenoir, NC. Feb., 2007.
  • Conifers for Western North Carolina. NC State Nursery Short Course, Fletcher, NC. Summer, 2007.
  • New opportunities for breeding with polyploids. ASHS Annual Conference, Ornamental Plant Breeding Workshop – Polyploidy in Ornamental Plant Breeding. ASHS Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA. Aug., 2006.
  • Exploring opportunities in horticultural and conservation biotechnology. Program on bringing biotechnology to Western, NC. Asheville, NC. Feb., 2006.
  • Overview of research and extension activities on nursery crops. Program for President Erskine Bowles, NC State Administration, and local leaders, Fletcher, NC. April, 2005.
  • Update on developing non-invasive nursery crops. American Nursery and Landscape Association. St. Louis, MO. Sept., 2005.
  • Dreaming plants. Woody Plant Conference, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, July, 2005.
  • Polyploidy: From evolution to plant breeding, Southern Plant Conference. Lexington, KY. Sept., 2005.
  • Developing non-invasive landscape plants. Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance conference, Lisle, Ill. Summer, 2005.
  • Population control: Developing non-invasive nursery crops. Southern Region International Plant Propagators Society. Greenville, SC. 2005.
  • Dreaming plants. JC Raulston Arboretum Symposium. Raleigh, NC. 2004.
  • Plant selection and management for drought resistance. N.C. Green & Growing Show, Winston-Salem, NC. 2004.
  • Sweetshrubs. N.C. Green & Growing Show. Winston-Salem, NC. 2004.
  • Breaking sex barriers. Clemson University, Clemson, SC. 2004.
  • Plants for the future. Urban Horticulture Symposium, Waynesboro, VA. 2003.
  • Re-inventing sweetshrubs. 53rd Annual Meeting of the Eastern Region of the International Plant Propagators Society. 2003.
  • A passion for plants: Adventures in plant breeding. NC Arboretum Lecture series. 2003.

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Photo of Nathan Lynch, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionNathan LynchResearch Specialist (828) 684-3562 nathan_lynch@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
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