Scientific Research at Holden

Holden has been conducting original scientific research for more than 20 years and has a strong tradition of breeding superior, woody ornamental plants for the landscape; a tradition that continues.


The Holden property encompasses extensive high quality natural forest ecosystems (~3,000 acres) and conserving native forests is one of the institution’s primary missions. Thus, improving our fundamental understanding of the function and dynamics of native forests and how they respond to environmental change is another focus of the Holden Research program.


Our staff scientists, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students conduct basic and applied research in three general areas:





How plants and soils respond to natural and human-induced stress

  Rhododendron health without (left) and with (right) Phytophthora root pathogens




The mechanisms by which organisms and ecosystems tolerate disturbance and environmental change

Studying the effects of snow cover on soil microbes  





The importance of biological diversity to the function and management of forest ecosystems

  The distribution and abundance of forest fungi are important for the function of healthy forests


Please visit the links to the left to learn more about our staff, facilities, and some of our current research projects.