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February & March, 2005 Newsletter Highlights

President’s Message
We have started the year off well with our entertaining and educational meeting on Sunday, January 16. Thanks to Rick Ray, Bill Steele, Liz Ball , Win Howe, Harold Sweetman and Frank Brouse who shared with us their TIPS and TRICKS for Fellow Gardeners. I know that we all picked up some helpful hints from the presentation, and had some good laughs.

Don’t forget our joint meeting and Winter Social with the Philadelphia chapter in February. This also looks like being a very entertaining afternoon.

The board has expended chapter donations for the upcoming year, and we have received acknowledgements and gratitude from The Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy, Tyler Arboretum and Jenkins Arboretum.

As you can see from the 2005 schedule, there are a few deviations from the norm this year.

The plant sale was put forward to enable members to go out west to the National Convention in Victoria, B.C. on the last weekend in April. The main part of the sale will be on April 22 and 23, then it will be replenished for another day on the following weekend. We have also decided to change the venue of the Truss Show to Jenkins Arboretum, and that too will run for 2 days with the exhibitors bringing trusses to be judged on Saturday, and then the public can view them on Saturday afternoon and Sunday (Mother’s Day).

So, as you can see, we have a busy year ahead of us, and I hope to see a lot of you at meetings or participating (and volunteering) in the other events.

Joan Warren, President
Email: srwjmw@att.net


February 1, 2005 (Tuesday): 7:30 pm, Board Meeting.

 February 19, 2005 (Saturday), 1:00 pm: Workshop on Native American Rhododendrons, at Jenkins Arboretum . George McLellan, an avid explorer of rhododendrons will lead group discussions. The workshop will be devoted to rhododendrons native to North America. These include small and large leaf rhododendrons, and deciduous azaleas. Please join us for this educational and fun workshop. Bring specimens of plants you wish to identify, and slides you wish to share with the group. Also come with a hand lens (10-powered) to see the finer points of these plants.

 February 20, 2005 (Sunday), 2:00 pm: Joint Meeting with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, at the Uwchlan Meeting House ( Lionville, PA). George McLellan will be the featured speaker and his topic will be “Searching for Native Plants in The East and West”. George has spent several weeks hiking the northern Rockies and eastern Appalachian Mountains, photographing their beauty and plant life. He also has been involved in landscape garden design and installation for over a dozen years, and has a keen eye for developing gardens delightful in color and with year-round interest. Directions are in this newsletter.

 March 17, 2005 (Thursday), 7:30 pm: Meeting on Animal Management to be given by a warden from the PA Game Commission, at Jenkins Arboretum. Of course he will be talking about our favorite 4 legged creatures who devastate many of our gardens in the winter. I’m sure many of us will have questions about them for him. People with last names beginning with letters P through Z are kindly requested to bring a dessert.

 April 22-23, 2005 (Friday and Saturday), and again on Saturday, April 30 (more to come…): Our chapter’s Annual Plant Sale. Take note…this will be held a week earlier than usual.

April 27- May 1, 2005: National ARS Convention in Victoria, B.C. Canada.

May 7 (Saturday) and May 8 (Sunday, Mother’s Day), 2005: Valley Forge Chapter Flower (Truss) Show at Jenkins Arboretum. See details below.

 June 26, 2005 (Sunday): Annual meeting and PICNIC.

 August 14, 2005 (Sunday): District 8 Cutting Exchange and Auction.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, meetings are held at Jenkins Arboretum

As always, if you have program suggestions, with suggestions of presenters, please contact
Reid Warren at 610-913-0005.

Directions to February Meeting at Uwchlan Meeting House in Lionville, PA.

(Uwchlan Quaker Meeting House is located about 15 miles west of Jenkins Arboretum):

From Downingtown Exit of PA Turnpike at Route 100 :
Drive south to traffic light at Sheree Blvd and turn right. Turn left at next light ( Eagleview Blvd) and left again at the following light ( Dowlin Forge Rd). Go to stop sign and bear left into Meeting House parking lot.

From Devon/Main Line area :
Take Rt. 202 South to Rt. 401 West to Rt. 113. Turn left and drive south on Rt. 113, past intersection of Routes 113 and 100, to second light. Turn right into Eagleview Blvd and right again at Dowlin Forge Rd light to stop sign; bear left into Meeting House parking lot. OR take Rt. 202 South to Rt. 30 West to Rt. 100 in Exton. Turn right and north on Rt. 100, left onto Rt. 113, right into Eagleview Blvd, right again at Dowlin Forge Rd light to stop sign; bear left into Meeting House parking lot.

If coming north on Route 113 , turn left at Eagleview Blvd, right at Dowlin Forge Rd to stop sign; bear left into Meeting House parking lot.

Please note : There is an exit from Rt. 113 right in front of the Meeting House but no access to the building!

More on the 2005 Annual ARS Convention in Victoria, B.C.

Victoria ’s Silver Salute! April 27 th – May 1 st, 2005. Valerie Murray, Publicity Committee for the ARS Annual Convention 2005, has put an invitation out to all ARS chapters to be part of Victoria’s Silver Salute. Here’s some information she sent: “Join us as we celebrate the 25 th anniversary of our Victoria Chapter and the 60 th annual convention of The American Rhododendron Society. Lectures presented by excellent speakers from Australia, New Zealand, Sikkim, Scotland, the U.S. and British Columbia. Garden visits will showcase beautiful public and private gardens presenting the finest that our ‘City of Gardens’ has to offer. Opening reception at the Royal B.C. Museum. Banquet speaker Keshab Pradhan of Sikkim. Breeders’ Round Table. Rare and choice plants for sale. We extend a warm welcome to all rhododendron enthusiasts.” Check out more at http://victoria.tc.ca/Recreation/Ars2005/.

Valley Forge Chapter Flower (Truss) Show. Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2005

Big changes are in store for our show this year. Not only will it be held at Jenkins Arboretum, home base for our chapter activities, but it will also be a two-day event. The greenhouse area is somewhat smaller than the area at Longwood but we do have enough room to accommodate about twice the number of entries we have had in previous years-and there is no admission fee to boot! This will be a golden opportunity for those who have not exhibited to date to get involved and also a great opportunity for those of you who would just like to attend this event and see what your fellow members are growing in their gardens.

This show is great fun, a great opportunity to learn more about our favorite flower and also to help in the overall operation of the show and to get to know your fellow members. There will be an additional brochure sent to the membership sometime in April explaining all the specifics on the various classes, awards, entry card preparation, bloom grooming, etc. As in any function of this type, we want additional help from the membership. There is a core group of chapter members who have made this show a success over the years but we can always use more volunteers. If you wish to be a part of the team, give a call to Win Howe, tel. 610-458-5291 or email wahowe@bee.net.

Fertilization Affects Pest Resistance – from the Royal Horticultural Society

The notion that fertilization increases trees’ resistance to insects is being questioned by an Ohio State University study. “A critical evaluation of evidence and the experiments that we’re conducting here find little support [for the fertilization/pest resistance argument],” said Dan Herms, OSU researcher. “Fertilization can increase the growth and nutrient content of trees, but it’s not helpful for insect resistance.” Instead, fertilization affects the resistance of woody ornamentals to insects by boosting the plants’ nutritional quality – increased nitrogen concentration makes them more attractive to pests- and decreasing the production of natural defensive chemicals. “This is not a criticism of the fertilizer companies, of course,” said Herms. “They are doing what experts have been recommending for a long time. What we are doing is trying to identify the best practices for tree health and fertilization is not having the effects that we always expected.” Fertilization also is responsible for reduced tree resistance to other pathogens, such as fungi, he said. Research by Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center plant pathologists Harry Hoitink and Steve Nameth found nitrogen concentration in new growth of rhododendron is directly related to phytophthora dieback susceptibility. Herms fertilized red pines inoculated with Sphaeropsis sapinea and discovered larger cankers on the trees than unfertilized trees exposed to the pathogen.

FYI – Tree Facts – Soil is Alive

"To some folks it is just dirt, but to farmers and tree planters it is soil.  And rather than simply being a lifeless substance to be walked on, healthy soil is a dynamic ecosystem upon which all life on earth depends.  According to Cooperative Extension, an acre of topsoil can contain about 900 pounds of earthworms, 2,400 pounds of fungi, 1,500 pounds of bacteria, 133 pounds of protozoa, and 890 pounds of insects and other arthropods*."  From the National Arbor Day Foundation Newsletter.

* First time I knew our back yard was loaded with arthropods.  Reid Warren







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