Minutes of Meeting of A. R. S., Portland, Oregon, February 21, 1952
Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
The first Spring meeting of the American Rhododendron Society was called to order by President, C. I. Sersanous at 8:00 P.M. in the Auditorium of the Journal building. The reading of the minutes of the November meeting were dispensed with as they had been published in the January Quarterly Bulletin.
New members in the Portland Area were then introduced. Members coming from the greatest distance to attend this meeting were also introduced. Mr. Clarence Prentis, of Seattle, won this distinction.
A report of the Membership was then made by the Secretary. Sixty-five new members have been added to our rolls since January 1; of this number, 13 have come from the Atlantic Seaboard states, 12 from the New York and Pennsylvania area, 1 from Missouri, 12 from Seattle, Wash., 15 from Tacoma, Wash., 8 from Eugene, Ore., and 4 from the Portland, Vancouver and Washougal area.
A report of the Nominating Committee on proposed new Directors for 19521954 is as follows: Cecil Smith, Guy Johnson, Dr. Royal Gick, Mrs. Elsie Reddaway, C. T. Hansen, Dr. Clarke, Ben F. Lancaster, John Bacher, S. W. Williams, and Dr. D. H. Labby. Ballots will be mailed to all members in the near future.
Mr. C. I. Sersanous read a proposed amendment for our By-laws which is as follows: "No Chapter or Affiliated Society, or any officer or member thereof shall have power to act for the Parent Society in any manner, nor to bind the Parent Society in any manner, financially or otherwise. No Chapter or Affiliated Society shall have any proprietary interest in the name "American Rhododendron Society" or any combination of such words with other words, its right to such name being only to the use thereof at the pleasure of the Parent Society."
A week ago, on February 9, 17 more plants were moved into our Test Garden. These were donated by Mr. Rocco Cappelli and Mr. Arthur Wright. Mr. John Bacher then made a report on the progress of our Test Garden.
Mr. Bob Walker made a motion that we place a bronze plaque in the Test garden along side of some plant from the Barto Collection. Motion carried.
Mr. Clarence Prentis recommended that we put a Bronze Plaque in the Test Garden in honor of James Barto for the early work he did in hybridizing rhododendrons.
Mr. Sersanous read a letter from Mrs. D. W. James of Eugene, Ore., in which she stated that they had some plants on the tender side such as kyawii, moupinense, 'Sapphire Queen', etc., and a flat of elliottii seedlings which she wanted someone to take over for them. Due to illness they can no longer keep up their place so must dispose of many of their fine plants.
A report was made on the progress of our new Chapters. Seattle, Wash., Tacoma, Wash., and the Eugene, Oregon Chapters have been fully approved. Charters will be sent to each of these groups.
Dr. J. Harold Clarke told of his recent trip back East where he met with Dr. Thomas Wheeldon of Richmond, Virginia, Mr. David Leach, Mr. Frederic Lee and others of the New York area. Dr. Clarke told of attending the meeting of the New York Chapter which was held at the W. C. Coe estate on Long Island.
Mr. C. 1. Sersanous then read a letter from Mr. G. G. Nearing in which he expressed the desire that he and others of the New York area could obtain pollen from some of our rhododendrons out here. Mr. John Bacher then suggested that this pollen could be collected from plants in our Test Garden and sent to these men.
Mr. George Grace was asked to tell about the cut truss he brought in for exhibit. It is arboreum var. kermesinian. The truss is a deep blood red color and cut from a plant 10 to 12 feet tall which grows in a cold green house.
Mr. Grace also announced the Rhododendron tours being conducted this Spring through Scotland.
An announcement was then made about the new English Rhododendron Handbook and the 1952 R. H. S. Yearbook. Orders will be taken for these books and if anyone is interested he is to place his name with the Secretary at the close of the meeting.
On April 17, Maj. P. N. Barber of Exbury Estate will be the guest speaker.
Mr. John Henny announced that the Show Chairman for 1952 will be Mr. Adolph Meyer; Mr. Cecil Smith his chief assistant.
Dr. John Handly of the Miller Products Co. was introduced as our guest speaker for the evening. His subject was fertilization. Dr. Handly began his talk by stating that the most frequent question asked is, Why doesn't my plant bloom? There may be a variety of causes; such as, some plants must go through a preparatory phase before maturity, example: the Liriodendron and Arbutus unedo; however the most important reason under average gardening conditions why plants do not bloom is the fact that the soil is low in chemical plant phosphate.
Rock phosphate tends toward the use of the natural phosphorous. It is slower to use. Super-phosphate should be used in the Spring and the rock phosphate in the Fall.
Dr. Handly recommended that a handful of super-phosphate be put in the bottom of each hole when planting. A question was asked, Can you overdo the use of super-phosphate? The answer was, "rarely."
With the use of the fish fertilizers we are entering upon the threshold of a new field of fertilizers. It is important to have a healthy soil to get a healthy plant; and a healthy soil means healthy people. The liquid Whale product is a complete fertilizer, having 6% Nitrogen, 11% Potash, 15% Phosphorous and trace elements. The Alaska Fish Emulsion is completely deodorized. One key trace element not present in Fish and Whale fertilizers is Boron.
Q. Can Epsom salt be used as a fertilizer?
Ans. If only Epsom salt (Magnesium and Sulphur) is used it will not satisfy the needs for good plant growth.
Dr. Handly concluded his talk by giving his formula for planting rhododendrons. After digging a hole throw in a handful of super-phosphate and one of acid fertilizer, mix well then fill in with non-fertilized soil. Treat the ball with a root stimulant, use one of the hormones and vitamin products, then fill in with a mixture of soil and peat moss. This places the fertilizer down where the roots will have to go to get it instead of making all the roots come to the surface for their food.