Cutting Exchanges Gain Popularity
Methods of organization vary, but cutting exchanges have been a successful activity for the chapters which have tried them.
"The Rhododendron Exchange" was a brand new program for the New York Chapter. The Chapter's August news letter asked that members send in a list of the varieties they would like to see offered. At the September meeting plastic bags of freshly cut, labeled cuttings were sold for 25 cents. No one was allowed to purchase more than one bag of a variety, but could buy as many different varieties as desired.
The cutting exchange was such a success, with more than 120 bags sold, that a second exchange was organized for the October meeting. The October newsletter made an appeal for cuttings of eight special requests which included 'Dexter's Giant Red', 'Halesite', 'Honeydew' (SAE 21) and 'Parker's Pink'.
The Massachusetts Chapter approached the cutting exchange from a different angle. The directors authorized a cutting exchange on an experimental basis. Members sent in requests for cuttings to be printed in the newsletter. Members having cuttings of the requested plants were asked to make an offer of the cuttings directly to the person who wanted them.
Tualatin Valley Chapter newsletter announced that the cutting exchange would be held in October and listed "wants" registered by five members who were particularly anxious to get cuttings of certain species and hybrids. Registering their desires gave these chapter members first chance to receive these cuttings if they were available at the cutting exchange. Mr. and Mrs. Wales Wood, who were speakers at the September chapter meeting, allowed Paul Minor to take cuttings from more than two dozen rhododendrons in their collection for distribution at the exchange. Members were asked to bring plastic bags and labels for the cuttings they received.
The Seattle Chapter requested that cuttings for its exchange come from the donor's garden with no more than three cuttings per plastic bag, well labeled, giving number of cuttings enclosed, variety and name of donor.
Instructions for preparing cuttings for the Portland Chapter exchange in September were the same. Members who wanted to participate in the exchange signed in at the beginning of the meeting. During the exchange they stood at one side of the room and were allowed one choice through several rotations of the list, until the cuttings were gone.