Horticultural Research Center
Located one mile west of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum entrance on Highway 5, the Horticultural Research Center (HRC) is one of the leading institutions for fruit and woody landscape plant research in the Upper Midwest with over 150 plant introductions since 1908. Research is focused on breeding plants and new varieties that are cold-hardy for growing in Minnesota's climate, work that benefits both northern gardeners and commercial growers.
The Arboretum’s heritage as a trendsetter in plant research began in the early 1900s when the researchers’ singular task was to develop apple varieties that could survive in Minnesota's subzero temperatures. Over the last century, the HRC has emerged as the center of fruit research for the upper Midwest.
While apple breeding remains the cornerstone of the research program, home gardeners, nursery professionals and commercial fruit growers have benefited from Arboretum plant introductions.
The HRC is also home to the Plant Conservation Program, which focuses on the preservation and restoration of uncommon and imperiled plants, as well as all of the native Minnesota orchids.
Today, the HRC encompasses 230 acres and continues as a research arm of the Arboretum and the University of Minnesota's Department of Horticultural Science.