Prairie Regional Trials for Woody Ornamentals

Patterson Garden was established as a trial site for the Prairie Regional Trails for Woody Ornamentals (PRTWO) experiment which ran between 1959 and 2001. This experiment into plant hardiness and adaptability was initiated by the Morden Arboretum Research Station (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada) in Morden Manitoba. The Morden arboretum was established early in the history of Prairie horticulture; the experiment involved propagating plants from the arboretum and distributing them to several sites across the Prairie Provinces to be grown and rated for their survival and adaptability over a five year period. The sites represented a diversity of climatic conditions. Cooperators in the experiment included:

Crop Diversification Centre North, Edmonton, AB

Crop Diversification Centre South, Brooks, AB

Devonian Botanic Garden, University of Alberta, Devon, AB (Edmonton region)

School of Forestry, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON

Lethbridge Research Centre, AAFC, Lethbridge, AB

Morden Arboretum, AAFC Research Station, Morden MB

PFRA Shelterbelt Centre, Indian Head, SK

Plant Science Dept., University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Plant Science Dept., University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Horticulture Dept., University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

Experimental results were reported in 2002 by C. G. Davidson, S. M. Enns, and R. J. Enns of the AAFC- Morden Arboretum.  

The Trial sites today

Many trees and shrubs from the PRTWO experiment continue to grow at the cooperating research stations and university campuses. Patterson Garden Arboretum and the Devonian Botanic Garden are currently the only PRTWO cooperators that are actively adding woody plants to their collections. The CDC South in Brooks has preserved many of their trees and shrubs by establishing the Golden Prairie Arboretum, Forever Green Pinetum, and Rose Garden. The PFRA Shelterbelt Centre in Indian Head is no longer active but the planting site is now used as a picnic area.