Rhododendron Breeder's Roundtable
May 27, 1973, Pittsburgh, Pa.
August E. Kehr, Potomac Chapter
Through the efforts of many plant breeders from coast to coast hundreds of improved and well adapted forms of rhododendrons and azaleas were released in the past three decades. Despite the multitude of new introductions, many serious unsolved problems yet face persons interested in growing these beautiful plants. And there are even those who claim the new hybrids can't beat the old "ironclads."
Consequently, there is special need for rhododendron breeders to evaluate the problems besetting rhododendrons and azaleas and to set new or additional priorities in their breeding programs to address themselves to these problems. We must not flood the nursery trade and the public with countless new hybrids that do not help overcome the many vital problems. Instead we must pool our knowledge and experience in order that each of our plant breeding programs has real purpose and each of the plants we name and introduce is a genuine advance.
To accomplish these objectives, persons interested in breeding azaleas and rhododendrons are invited to participate in an informal meeting on Sunday, May 27th, immediately following the annual meetings of the American Rhododendron Society. As a member of the Research Committee I have volunteered to organize the first meeting of this group. The meeting will consist of an entire day's program, including a night session. The advantage of scheduling the Roundtable meeting at the end of the regular meeting is to allow attendance of those persons interested in the Roundtable program with the least interruption of the annual meeting program.
The Roundtable will be organized around discussion topics, with a group of persons responsible to lead discussions on each topic. No formal papers will be given, but each discussant will be expected to contribute his experiences and any experiences of others that he can include in his discussion. There will be ample time for participation of all interested attendees.
Anyone with a real interest in breeding rhododendrons and azaleas is invited to attend and to participate. The following topics will be discussed:
TOPIC TOPIC LEADER Morning Program 1. Breeding for Disease Resistance Rhododendrons Dr. Harry Hoitink, Wooster, Ohio 2. Breeding for Insect Resistance Rhododendrons
Raymond Miller, Potomac Chapter 3. Breeding for Cold Resistance Azaleas Tony Shammarello, Great Lakes Chapter 4. Breeding for Cold Resistance Rhododendrons George Miller, Potomac Chapter 5. Breeding for Heat Tolerance Ross M. Nelson, Southern Chapter Afternoon Program 6. Naming and Releasing New Varieties Warren Berg, Tacoma Chapter 7. National Test Gardens for Award Plants Dr. Robert Ticknor, Portland Chapter 8. Good Parents - Azaleas Dr. Gustav Mehlquist, Connecticut Chptr 9. Good Parents - Rhododendrons Dr. E. A. Hollowell, Potomac Chapter 10. Breeding Vireya Rhododendrons Mr. Maurice Sumner, California Chapter Evening Program 11. Desirable Objectives of a Breeding Program Dr. Harold Clarke, Portland Chapter 12. Useful Techniques for Breeders and Propagators Mr. George Ring, Potomac Chapter