QBARS - v26n3 Presidential Report at the 1972 Annual Meeting

Presidential Report at the 1972 Annual Meeting
Robert Ticknor

Annual Meeting Photos
FIG. 58. 1972 Annual Meeting Personalities:
(top) President Ticknor introducing banquet speaker, Dr. August Kehr;
(center left), Hadley Osborn, Annual Meeting Chairman; (center right),
J. P. Evans, California Chapter President. (Bottom) Show Judges, left
to right: August Kehr, Robert Ticknor, Alfred Martin, Ron Gordon, (New
Zealand); Roy Hudson, J. S. Yeates, (New Zealand); and  Fred Galle.
Jock Brydon photos

One of the most interesting things about attending the annual meetings of the American Rhododendron Society is that it presents the opportunity to see plants of our favorite genus growing under a variety of conditions. Here in the Bay Area they have one of the most favored climates in the world for growing Rhododendrons. Everything from the hardy Catawbiense hybrids to the tender Vireyas are being grown out-of-doors. I'm sure many of the pollen daubers in our midst will be going home fixed up to be the first to make a successful cross with the beautiful yellow laetum on to some hardier member of the genus.
This past year our society has had a period of slow growth. Drop outs continue to be a problem. Each chapter needs to contact those people who drop their membership after a year or two to determine why they dropped. Telephone committees in the chapter can do this. With this information available we could at both the chapter and national level seek to correct our problems.
One possible way to increase our membership would be to emphasize the azaleas, both deciduous and evergreen, in our programs and publications. Some Azaleas will grow with relative ease in both colder and warmer areas than will the typical rhododendrons.
This year work will be completed on our book whose theme is Rhododendrons named in America. Unless we hurry it will have to come out in two volumes just to list all the names. There have been over 800 names registered from North America. Unfortunately some of them are just names with possibly the color and parentage given. Of course there are also names and plants in commerce which have not been registered. The book will contain descriptions and ratings of at least 400 varieties which are available commercially. The other varieties will be listed by name, parentage and hybridizer.
To maintain more complete information about American varieties, a new registration form has been devised by Mr. Ed Parker, our new Registrar. At first glance it may look involved but it was devised so those without knowledge of botanical terms can easily prepare a description of these plants. This information will permit more positive identification of plants if labels are destroyed or lost. It may also help the breeders determine something of inheritance patterns by studying these records.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about research. We have had a broadly based but inactive committee for the past several years. We will be reforming the committee into groups in regional areas where it will be possible for the members to get together and to discuss problems. Mr. Maurice Sumner's suggestion of a breeding group would be one thing for this committee to study. The possibility of making crosses for disease resistance in quantity and sending the seed out through the seed exchange would be another. Helping to finance seed collecting expeditions overseas would be another possibility.
We are looking forward to another growing year and will see you in Pittsburgh May 25 and 26, 1973, at the Hilton Hotel.