Minutes of Meeting
American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon - September 20, 1951
Submitted by Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
The first Fall meeting of the American Rhododendron Society was called to order by President C. I. Sersanous in the Auditorium of the Journal Bldg. at 8:00 P.M. on the evening of September 20th. The President welcomed everyone, and expressed his appreciation for the fine turn out at the first Fall meeting. The minutes of the May meeting were not read as they had been published in the July Bulletin.
The names of new members in the Portland area were then read and those present were asked to stand. Mrs. Hilda Minnickel of Oregon City, Ore., was the only new member present. Members coming from the greatest distance were asked to stand, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Kerrigan of Oakland, Calif. received this distinction. Guests were then introduced and Mrs. Wytman from The Hague, Holland was asked to stand. Mrs. Wytman is visiting the P. J. Van Bruggens, of Portland.
The nationalization of the Rhododendron Society was discussed. Dr. Gick of Eugene, Ore. reported that the Eugene group had held a meeting and were unanimous in their approval of affiliating with the A.R.S. Mr. Sersanous then read a letter from Mr. Donald Graham of Seattle in which he expressed the hopes that a Seattle Chapter could be formed sometime after the middle of October. Our President also told of receiving a long distance telephone call from Mr. Ed. Farwell of Oakland, Calif. Mr. Farwell is undertaking the work of forming a Chapter in his locality. Dr. Clarke then told of a movement now underway to form a Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
A motion was made that the Society approve the By-laws as published in the July Bulletin. Motion seconded and unanimously carried by a vote of hands.
Mr. Sersanous briefly mentioned the picnic which was held on Mt. Hood in June. He told of the program on Laurel Hill and of the fine talk Mr. Meacham, Head of the Oregon Pioneer Trails Association, had made. This was the last speech made by Mr. Meacham as he passed away two weeks later. His death is a great loss to our State.
Committee Reports: Mr. John Bacher reported on the Test Garden. He highly praised our City Park Bureau for the fine maintenance work they have done in the Test Garden. The grass has been kept mowed, the beds are well worked and in wonderful condition and the rhododendrons and azaleas all look fine. There has been a heavy set of buds which should make an excellent exhibit next Spring. However, this is only a good beginning, more plants will be moved in this Fall. Anyone wishing to make donations of either plants or cash should inform the Secretary.
With the appeal for donations of plants for the Trial Gardens, several members in the audience raised their hands and by the time the official record was taken sixteen of our members had volunteered plants for the garden.
Honorary life membership in Oregon Nurserymen's association was conferred upon John G. Bacher for Outstanding Achievement. Mr. Bacher is one of our members and probably the most indefatigable worker in the Society. We are proud of his membership. Another A.R.S. member who has received prominence is Mr. Robert Walker who was elected President of the Oregon Nurserymen's association.
The speaker of the evening, Mr. R. G. Rosenstiel, Entomology Dept. of Oregon State College Extension Service, Corvallis, Ore. was then introduced. His subject was, "The Rhododendron Moth".
Mr. Rosenstiel began his talk with the history of this particular, pest which is called the "Rhododendron Moth". The insect was first described in California where it infected the azaleas. The State Dept. of Agriculture was instrumental in finding a place to work; that is, where there was severe infestation of the Moth. They looked at the native Rhododendron on the Coast and found evidence in the buds, the leaf and the new growth. West of the Cascades its distribution is from the California line to N. of Newport, from Mt. Hood down the W. slope of the Cascades about- opposite Crater Lake. S: Central Oregon around the Caves they again found the Moth. It is already in the Portland vicinity.
Slides were then shown which illustrated the life history of this pest, and where the eggs were laid on underside of leaf. Later the larvae penetrate into the mid-bib. Mining done by the larvae was shown. Another slide showed a close up of an old mine, with the central part of leaf surface exposed leaving the cell structure open. Eggs are also laid in the flower bud base. The larvae then tunnel into the flower base destroying the bud and will also go up the new shoots.
The most striking injury is the sight of a plant in full bloom with many buds not opened. Upon cutting buds open larvae was found in flower parts. The larvae are reddish to pink if feeding on red colored flowers. If feeding on leaf, the color is tan. They are about 7/8th of an inch long.
The Eastern "Rhododendron Borer" works differently and is no relation to this "Rhododendron Moth" which is native. "We call it "R. Moth" because it attacks buds, leaves and stems". The moth has never been found in our northern Azaleas or the cultivated varieties; however it was first noticed in California on Azaleas. The adult moth is pepper and salt colored.
There is a natural parasite, a small wasp which lays eggs in the larvae killing them, that is a hindrance to the rapid spread of the moth. As for controlling this pest, a spray of 50% wettable Methoxychlor has been found very effective. Make certain the under side of the leaves get well sprayed. Methoxychlor kills not only the larvae but the adults as well. This spray should be applied in late June or middle of July. If put on in April or October there is the risk of killing off the parasites which over the years is very important. Apparently Methoxychlor spray also kills the R. Lace Bug, because there has been no evidence of this insect where the spray has been used. The lecture was concluded with some questions and answers.
A series of slides on Species and Hybrid rhododendrons followed. These were shown by Mr. Wales Wood of St. Helens, Ore. Mr. Wood has some outstanding pictures of the dwarf species and many beautiful garden views.