The History of the Horticulture Department

In 1921, Dr. Cecil Patterson was hired as the first Horticulture lecturer and in 1922 Dean Rutherford appointed Patterson as the first Head of the newly formed Department of Horticulture Science.  The appointment of Patterson helped establish a larger number of horticulture classes and a horticulture option in 1934.  Until Dr. Patterson's appointment, all classes in horticulture had been offered in the Field Husbandry Department.  The main responsibilities of the horticulture department from its commencement until 1947 included maintenance of the University campus as well as horticulture research.  Initial research focused on the improvement of horticultural types of plants through a breeding and selection program.  There is also evidence of early variety testing in fruits and vegetables. 

In 1961, Dr. Stu Nelson was appointed Professor and Head of the Department and additional faculty members were appointed in 1962 and 1964.  By this time research in the department focused on fruit breeding, vegetable research, horticultural crop physiology and greenhouse work.  Dr. Nelson remained Head of the Department until his retirement in 1981.

Dr. Cecil Stushnoff was appointed as the Head of the Department in 1982 and remained in that position until his resignation from the University in 1989.  The Department would see a large expansion and changeover of staff between 1988-1991 with the addition of three new professional staff members

Dr. Ken Giles was appointed Head of the Department in 1989 and remained in that position until his resignation in 1994 leading to the appointment of Dr. Bryan Harvey for a six-month position as Acting Head of the Department.  In 1995, Dr. Harvey was appointed Head of the department for a five-year term, however in 1997, Harvey was appointed University Coordinator of Agricultural Research in the University's Presidents Office, leaving the department without leadership.

 In 1997, after internal discussions within the department and college determined there was no internal candidate willing to fill the position, Dr. John Stewart, Dean of the College of Agriculture, appointed Dr. Malcolm Devine acting Head for a 10 week period and assigned him the task of merging the Department of Horticulture Science with the Department of Crop Science and Plant Ecology.  On July 1,1998 the two Departments merged to become the Department of Plant Sciences with Dr. Graham J. Scoles as Head of the newly formed Department.

Under the umbrella of the Department of Plant Science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, today's Horticulture Science offers teaching, research and outreach relating to the development, production and management of Horticultural crops on the Canadian Prairies.  Horticulture Research involves the development of fruits, plant propagation, fruit and vegetable production, environmental stress physiology, nursery crop production, greenhouse management and soil health and crop nutrition in horticultural systems.

Department Heads


Dr. Cecil Patterson (1921-1960)
Dr. Stu Nelson (1961-1981)
Dr. Cecil Stushnoff (1982-1989)
Dr. Ken Giles (1989-1994)
Dr. Bryan Harvey (1994-1997)


Dr. Malcolm Devine (1997-1998)
Dr. Graham Scoles (1998-2002)
Dr. Geoff Hughes (2002-2005)
Dr. Bruce Coulman (2005-2013)
Dr. Yuguang Bai (2014-present)

Historical video of landscaping at USask

Hort MSc graduates

Year Student Title
1963 GREEN, C.O. A Preliminary Irrigations Study with egetables in Saskatchewan
1964 QUAMME, H.A. A Preliminary Study of Growth Substance in the Growth Phases of Malus robusta 5
1964 STUSHNOFF, C. Sterility and Incompatibility in Lilium
1965 HWANG, J.M. Junvenility in Malus robusta 5
1967 YU, N.L. A Study of Rooting Cofactors and Root-Promoting Substances in the Junenile and Adult Forms of Malus robusta 5
1968 LIN, W.C. The Influence of Moisture Stress on the Growth and Wintering of Cotoneaster acutifolia
1969 SKINNER, R.R. Incompatibility and Sterility Studies in Rubus idaeus var. strigosus
1969 TSAI, M.H.J. The Effects of Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash Application on Carrots, Potatoes and Sweet Corn
1969 WESTLUND, D.D. A Fertility Study on Irrigated Potatoes and Sweet Corn in Saskatchewan
1970 CAMPBELL, C.G. The Effects of Light Source on the Fertilization and Retention of the Potato Blossom (Solanum tuberosum)
1970 HWANG, K.E. Water Usage at Different Growth Stages of Cabbage and Potato Plants
1971 NIYAZI, O. Relationship of Foliar Analysis to Applied Level of Nutrients on Potatoes and Radishes
1971 PORTER, B.J. Fertility Studies on Irrigated Cabbage and Carrots in Saskatchewan
1974 LIN, Y.Z. Weed Control Studies in Selected Vegetables
1976 HAUKENESS, M.O. Gas Turbine Exhaust Gases as a Source of Heat and Carbon Dioxide for the Production of Greenhouse Tomatoes
1977 HOEHN, E.L. The Effects of Root Zone Termperature on Plant Development and the Occurrence of Hollow Heart and Brown Streak Necrosis in the Potato
1977 PETERS, C.C. The Effect of Moisture Stress on the Growth and Yield of Snap Beans
1978 DELAGE, M.A. Chemical Weed Control in Selected Vegetable Crops at the Outlook Irrigation District
1979 BISHOP, B.H. Propagation Studies on the Saskatoon
1981 MCLENNAN, G.L. Sand Culture Studies on Kentucky Bluegrass for Sports Fields
1982 CASWELL, K.L. Hastening the Flowering of 'Michigan-Ohio Hybrid' Greenhouse Tomatoes Through Vegetative Propagation
1982 OLIVER, J. Investigations into the Hydroponic Production of Greenhouse Cucumbers
1982 SAMPSON, H.J. Effects of Audible Sound on the Germination and Growth of Seeds from Woody and Herbaceous Plants
1982 SCHROEDER, W.R. Sand Culture Studies on Bentgrass Greens
1982 WAHAB, M.N.J. Effects of plant density and planting designs on growth and productivity of snap bean
1983 BANIK, R.L. Macropropagation of Bambusoid Grass and Micropropagation of Bamboo
1986 ENGLUND, P.L. Interference of Onion Growth by Green Foxtail (Setaria viridis)
1986 ROWAN, S.C. Evaluation of Herbicides on Newly-planted 'Hecker' and 'Bounty' Strawberries
1987 FRIESEN, L.J. Phenology Modeling and its Application to Plant Science and Crop Production
1988 FRIESEN, K.R.D. Rooting of Micropropagated Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. Cultivar 'Smoky'
1988 MATHERS, H.M. Screening Malus Seedlings for Cold Resistance
1988 WOODSKE, D.D.G. Propagation of Pinus cembra L. by Seed Germination and Micropropagation
1989 EWAN, B.E. Cold Acclimation and Cryopreservation of 'MM106' Apple Cultivars
1989 TURNER, J.M. Strawberry Plant Cold Hardiness and Overwintering Techniques
1990 HARRISON, R.G. The Effects of Three Cropping Methods on the Productivity of Greenhouse Cucumbers
1990 KABALUK, J.T. A Technique for Screening Seedlings of Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. for Resistance to the Rust Pathogen Gymnosparangium nelsonii Arth
1991 DEREMIENS, J.B. Effects of Straw and Plasti Mulches on Fall Acclimation and Winter Survival of the Strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.)
1992 CAMPBELL, S.M. Effects of the Cytokinin 2iP on the Rhizomatous Growth of the Lingonberry, Vaccinium vitis-idaea subspecies minus Lodd.
1994 BALDWIN, B.D. Abscisic Acid Induced Dormancy and Hardening of In Vitro Saskatoon Berry (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.)
1994 STEVENSON, R.K. Dormancy and Acclimation in Dogwood Clonal Ecotypes
1995 IQBAL, M.S. Impact of Mycorrhizae and Phosphorus Solubilizing
1996 ANDREWS, D. Dormancy in Dogwood Crosses
1997 MOROZ, D.L. The Effects of Osmotic Stress on Germination, Juvenile and mature Stages of Festuca rubra litoralis cv Dawson Grown at Various Temperatures
1997 SHIELL, K.J. Factors Affecting Flower and Immature Fruit Loss in Pincherry and Chokecherry
2002 SHARMA, N. Use of Abscisic Acid (ABA) Analogs to Improve Performance of Horticultural Crops
2002 WALLACE, T. Improving the Harvestability of Dry Beans with Gibberellic Acid
2003 SHEN, X. Effects of Explant Juvenilitym, in vitro Etiolation and Subculture Number and Length on ex vitro Rooting of Micro-propagated Saskatoons
2003 SPENCER, R. Ozone as Post-harves Treatment for Potatoes
2003 SVENDSEN, E. A Molecular Approach to Studying Vegetative Maturity in Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea L.)
2004 LU, Q.  Feasibility of a Tip Grafting System for Fruit Breeding and its Effect on Cold Hardiness and Juvenility
2004 UBAYASENA, L. Systematic Affinities and Identification of Echinacea (Asteraceae) Species Based on Genomic DNA, Chloroplast DNA, and Phyto-chemical Diversity
2006 XUE, S. Screening Fragaria Species for Resistance to Xanthomonas fragariae
2007 KALCSITS, L. Exoploring How Temperature Affects Dormancy Induction and Cold Acclimation Initiation in Hybrid Poplar
2009 SONG, S. The Impact of Dill Weed, Spearmint and Clove Essential Oils on Sprout Supperssion in Potato Tubers
2012 KABAN, T. A Strategy to Develop Prairie Grapes (Vitis) with High Trans-resveratrol Production Potential
2015 BANIK, P. Effects of Drought Acclimation on Drought Stress Resistance in Three Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Genotypes
2015 WANG, Y. Physiological Characterization on Seed Aging of Six Native Shrub Species
2016 LIU, J. Temperature Mediated Alterations of the Plant Apoplast as a Mechanism of Intracellular Freezing Stress Avoidance
2018 BENIC, E. Photosynthetic Adjustments of Amaranthus Varieties in Response to Growth Irradiance
2018 HAMILTON, K. Identification of Ultrastructural and Biochemical Markers of Frost Avoidance in the Cuticular Layer of Corn
2020 JUCA TAVEIRA, C. Tracing Crop Residue Derived Nitrogen into Subsequent Crops and Nitrous Oxide Emission
2020 RAE, E. Measuring Germination: The Radicand Germination Index & A Biostimulant Seed Treatment: Mechanism and Optimization.