The researchers will monitor the effect of alternative irrigation regimes on tree physiology, with the aim of enhancing drought resistance.
A nursery has been set up on the college's campus near Preston, Lancashire, with more than 100 Betula pendula donated by Ely-based Barcham Trees.
An irrigation system that uses precise soil moisture sensors to schedule irrigation has been installed at the site.
Myerscough College lecturer and researcher Andrew Hirons said: "Over the past three years the college has been developing a research base to strengthen its higher education provision."
He added: "This latest research is an excellent opportunity to develop our understanding of tree physiology, while assisting the industry with the challenge of tree establishment."
Lancaster University's Professor Bill Davies, who is co-director of the university's Lancaster Environment Centre, is also working on the research project.