Minutes of Meeting American Rhododendron Society, Portland, Oregon, March 16, 1950
Mrs. Ruth M. Hansen, Secretary
The March meeting of the American Rhododendron Society was called to order at 8:00 P. M. in the Auditorium of the Journal Building by President Mr. C. I. Sersanous. The name of Mr. O. R. Neet, a recent new member in the Portland area was then read and another recent member, Mrs. Ellen Fraundorf was introduced to the membership. Miss Ruth T. Brooks of Seattle was also introduced.
Mr. Seranous then announced the coming Rhododendron Shows. Portland, May 6th and 7th at the Chamber of Commerce Information Center; Tacoma, May 6th and 7th at the Bank of California; Seattle, May 12th, 13th and 14th* at the University of Washington Athletic Pavilion; The Oakland Show, April 20th-28th, the 24th being designated as Rhododendron Day; and last a Show and Sale sponsored by the Seattle Historical Society to be held April 30th to May 10th at the nursery of Mr. Clarence Prentice.
Ballots for the election of Directors will be sent only to paid members. Mr. Sersanous invited the membership to come early to the meetings so that visiting could be done at that time. Due to the fact that we have to be out of the Auditorium by 10:00 P. M. no time is left for visiting after the meeting.
The Show Chairman, C. T. Hansen was called upon for his report. He stated that he would like to have the outside court of the Information Center filled with Commercial Exhibits. Commercial men were again asked to place an advertisement in the April Bulletin as there would not be a list of growers published in the Bulletin. A large display of cut trusses is expected again this year.
Mr. Cecil Smith of Newberg, Oregon was then introduced. He showed slides of many fine hybrid rhododendrons and a few of the species. One very fine picture was of his R. neriiflorum . These pictures were mainly taken in his own garden.
Dr. J. Harold Clarke of Long Beach, Washington was introduced to conduct a Panel Discussion on Frost Injury. Dr. Clarke prefaced the discussion with a short talk on Hardiness. To begin with people in the North West have experienced, this year, temperatures which are normal for the New York area every year. Thus our experiences of the past Winter may help to prove that some plants thought tender by Easterners can be successfully grown under extremes of temperature. In speaking of hardiness, that subject covers hardiness of bud, bark, roots and the physical condition of the plant, as the condition of the plant at the time of the low temperatures has a great bearing on how it will withstand the Winter.
Dr. Clarke then gave his idea of how a hardiness rating for the A. R. S. should be worked out, mainly that the rating should be based on the degree of temperature which caused a certain injury as, minus 15 degrees, minus 5, plus 5, plus 15 etc., with the variety listed opposite which ever figure tallied with the injury as leaf burn, defoliated or killed. This system, however will have to be worked out more fully before submitting it to the members for checking their report.
The members of the Panel were then called, each one giving the mean temperature at his Nursery. Mr. B. F. Lancaster, Camas, Wash., 8-10 degrees below; Rudolph Henny, Brooks, Ore., 12 below, 18 below for 45 minutes; Clarence Prentice, Seattle, Wash., 3 above; Bernard Esch, Portland, Ore., 3 below; Irving Lincoln, Portland, Ore., 2 above, and Rex 1. Peffer, Salem, Ore., 10 below. (These temperatures were during the middle of January to the first week of February).
* EDITOR'S NOTE - The Seattle Rhododendron Show has been cancelled due to excessive damage from frost.
What species were damaged and what ones were not?
B. F. Lancaster: R. falconeri , leaf burn; triflorum , leaf burn, yellow ones such as lutescens were killed. The two bright days cooked the leaves of most rhododendrons.
Bernard Esch: R. griersonianum , leaves off some plants, others only burned, R. thomsonii , leaves off some, others killed, fortunei came through all right.
Rudolph Henny: I lost practically all my plants of the Fortunei series; though R. calophytum had only leaf burn.
Irving Lincoln: R. augustinii came through all right, R. cinnabarinum , one in bad condition, the other is all right. R. rubiginosum and neriiflorum good, lost R. griffithianum , R. thomsonii seems all right.
Clarence Prentice: R. arboreum , R. maddenii , and R. 'Fragrantissimum' killed, R. thomsonii lost its buds, R. falconeri and R. fictolacteum seem all right.
Dr. Clarke: Our R. yunnanense were all killed.
What hybrids were damaged and what ones were not?
B. F. Lancaster: All the Loderi's were hit hard. R. 'Naomi' came through fine, most griersonianum hybrids were burned to the snow line.
Bernard Esch: R. 'Cornubia', R. 'Gill's Crimson', yellow and pink Penjerricks were all killed. R. 'Mrs. C. B. Van Ness', R. 'Tally Ho', R. 'Earl of Athlone' came through fine; R. 'Mrs. G. W. Leak' and R. 'Faggetter's Favorite' badly hurt, R. 'Azor' lost its leaves, R. 'Rainbow' was also badly hit.
Rudolph Henny: Lost R. 'Tally-Ho' and most all the plants Mr. Esch mentioned, R. 'Mars', R. 'Mrs. Furnival', R. 'Mosers Maroon', R. 'Romany Chai', R. 'Naomi', R. 'Grenadier', R. 'Unique', R. 'W. C. Slocock', R. 'Goldsworth Yellow' and R. 'Lady Bessborough' were uninjured.
Irving Lincoln: R. 'Earl of Athlone' was hurt more by the sun and wind than the cold. R. 'Gill's Crimson' killed to the snow line, R. 'Loderi' was burned but not killed.
Clarence Prentice: Lost all the R. 'Barclayi's, think that the only rhododendron going to bloom this year is R. 'Mrs. R. S. Holford'.
Rex Peffer: R. 'Earl of Athlone' came through fine, R. discolor shows little damage though my 7' R. thomsonii has lost its leaves and buds.
John Henny then told of observations made by Francis Hangar, mainly that the smooth bark types of rhododendrons do not force out new growth buds when badly damaged by such extremes of temperatures but the rough bark types will force out new growth. One should not be in too much of a hurry to dig up damaged plants, give them a chance to send up new shoots. He also stated that his R. 'Purple Splendor', R. 'Blue Peter', R. 'Mrs. Philip Martineau', R. 'Vulcan', etc. all came through in fine condition.
Miss Brooks of Seattle asked the question: "Doesn't this winter prove that plants are more hardy on their own roots over those that are grafted?" Answer: John Henny: Whether a plant is grown on its own roots or is grafted does not affect the degree of hardiness and there is absolutely no proof that one is more hardy than the other.
How can one protect small plants?
Answer: By mulching with straw or using burlap screens.
John Henny then mentioned that plain window screen wound around plants will protect them.
John Bacher then made the statement that the leaves of a plant are its stomach and lungs. Therefore if it has lost its leaves how can it digest an over dose of fertilizer? Do not fertilize a sick plant, give it a chance to recover by itself, and grow some new leaves before fertilizing it.