The EMR Rhizolab is a unique facility that allows in situ observation and sampling of perennial crops, both above ground and below ground. This underground laboratory, originally built in the 1960’s, was refurbished in 2013 with funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The laboratory has been re-equipped to study the root growth of modern apple trees and perennial grasses, to understand the flow of carbon from plants to soil. Plantings of perennial grasses and a high-intensity apple orchard will be undertaken in 2014. The EMR Rhizolab is a UK national capability and will encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration within the science community to deliver world-leading research and support national strategic needs.