Minutes - 2011

Allen D. Owings  |  7/6/2011 1:42:21 PM

SERA-27: NURSERY CROPS AND LANDSCAPE SYSTEMS

BUSINESS MEETING

June 9, 2011

Campus of the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

ATTENDANCE:

Advisors:

Patricia Knight (Mississippi State University)
Regina Bracy (Louisiana State University)

Official Representatives:

Gene Blythe (Mississippi State University)
Ed Bush (Louisiana State University)
Win Dunwell (University of Kentucky)
Donna Fare (USDA-ARS, National Arboretum, Tennessee)
Gary Knox (University of Florida)
Anthony LeBude (North Carolina State University)
Alex Niemiera (Virginia Tech)
Allen Owings (Louisiana State University)
John Ruter (University of Georgia),

Guests:

Matthew Chappell (University of Georgia)

States not represented:

Alabama
Arkansas
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Texas
West Virginia

The business meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2011, by President Anthony LeBude.

Minutes of the 2010 had previously been distributed via Email. Donna Fare motioned that the minutes be approved. The motion was seconded by Allen Owings and approved unanimously.

Local host Matthew Chappell welcomed everyone to the UGA campus. He reported that the Georgia green industry is starting to rebound, beginning with crops sold in smaller container sizes. The market for in-ground ornamental crops continues to be down. The wholesale farm-gate value of horticulture crops in Georgia is #4 among agricultural commodities behind poultry, peanuts, and forestry.

Matthew reported that yesterday's tour group visited Garden Design Nursery and the UGA Horticulture Farm. This morning's tour group visited James Greenhouses and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Tomorrow's tour group will visit Southeastern Growers and Angel Creek Nursery.

On behalf of the group, President LeBude thanked Matthew Chappell for his efforts in organizing the tours, meals, and meeting arrangements. Graduate student Michael Martin was also thanked for his assistance with the tours and meeting arrangements.

STATE REPORTS

Georgia (presented by John Ruter) – The number of students in the UGA horticulture program has remained steady during the past year. Budget cuts have resulted in the loss of four positions in the department, including two technicians. Gary Wade has retired, but continues to work in a part-time position. Allen Armitage had also announced his retirement. John Ruter will be relocating from the Tifton campus to fill Allen's position starting in fall 2012. The position in Tifton will not be refilled, but John will maintain the ornamental plantings at that location. John noted that the nursery industry is shrinking in the southern part of the state.

North Carolina (presented by Anthony LeBude) – The status of the nursery industry in North Carolina is similar to that of Georgia, with color crops selling well, while field-growing operations continue to be down in sales. Some field-growing operations are going out of business. Horticultural crops are #4 in farm-gate value in the state. The university has had budget cuts of 10% in teaching and 15% in research and extension. Anthony taught Nursery Management with Helen Krause as a distance course using Moodle. Anthony has also been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

Kentucky (presented by Win Dunwell) – The nursery industry in the state has reached a mature phase, now relying on growth in other states for increasing sales of nursery crops. There are four extension faculty members working with nursery crops. Dewayne Ingram is now working on life cycle assessment for the nursery industry. Faculty will be receiving a 3% raise this year, but five staff and faculty positions were recently eliminated to provide these funds. The horticulture department is shrinking with retirements and position changes. A new blog and list serve has been established for the nursery industry.

Mississippi (presented by Gene Blythe) – Mississippi State University had a record enrollment last fall. There will be merit raises of approximately 4% for the coming fiscal year, based on a recommendation by the state's university presidents. The university's budget will remain flat as the new fiscal year begins. The number of faculty in the state with primary emphasis on ornamental crops remains steady with 3 in research, 4 in extension, and 1 in teaching. The variety trials at the experiment station in Poplarville have expanded with additional ground beds and two new companies providing plants for evaluation.

Louisiana (presented by Allen Owings) – LSU currently has five faculty members with a focus on ornamental horticulture, including Jeff Kuehny (who recently became an administrator at the Burden center), plus six more allied faculty members. Budget issues have been less severe this year. Specialty Crop State Block Grants from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry have been successful. Undergraduate and graduate (MS and PhD) programs in horticulture and agronomy have been merged. Three research stations in the state have been closed during the past year. The Louisiana Super Plant program debuted in fall 2010 and is going very well.

Tennessee (presented by Donna Fare) – Amy Fulcher has been hired for extension with the University of Tennessee. Mark Holcomb's position will not be refilled when he retires. Membership in the Middle Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association is down 30%, and fewer scholarships are now available. The USDA budget will be cut by 10% for the 2012 fiscal year and there will be a retirement incentive program.

Virginia (presented by Alex Niemiera) – The horticulture program currently has approximately 85 to 90 undergraduate students and 25 graduate students, with 10½ on-campus faculty members (down form 17). Bonnie Appleton retired from the experiment station in Virginia Beach and has been replaced by Jim Owen. The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association continues to support research, but is discontinuing their funding of the plant introduction program with the expectation that the program should be self-sustaining.

Florida (presented by Gary Knox) – The economic status of the nursery industry continues to be down, especially on the peninsula. The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association provides approximately $30,000 for research each year through an endowment. The Department of Environmental Horticulture currently has approximately 20 faculty member through the state; 2 to 3 are expected to retire in the next few years. A search is currently underway for a new department head. There is much emphasis on distance education, and some talk of a plant science major. Gary is developing a teaching garden at the North Florida R&E Center. A 501(c)(3) organization with approximately 90-100 (15-20 core) members has been established at the center to handle meetings.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Ed Bush motioned that the following officers be elected for 2012:

President: Gene Blythe

Secretary: Matthew Chappell

Board Member: To be determined at the 2012 meeting

The motion was seconded by Alex Niemiera and was approved unanimously.


MEMBERSHIP

Current members were asked to identify potential new members for the group, contact these individuals, and send names of interested persons to Patricia and Regina.

OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS FOR 2010

A poster titled "Nursery Crop and Landscape Systems Plant Evaluations by SERA-27 in the Southeastern U.S.: 2010 Update" was presented at the Eastern Region of North America, International Plant Propagators' Society Annual Meeting in Warwick, Rhode Island, Sept./Oct. 2010; Southern Region of North America, International Plant Propagators' Society Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, Oct. 2010; and the Ornamental Horticulture Field Day–South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, Mississippi, Oct. 2010. A summary article will be published in Fall 2011 in the 2010 volume (Vol. 60) of the Combined Proceedings International Plant Propagators' Society. The poster was prepared by Gene Blythe, Win Dunwell, and Ed Bush. All members current at that time were also included in the authorship.

Ed Bush noted that Jim Robbins may be preparing an article for NM Pro or American Nurseryman.

PLANT EVALUATION COMMITTEE REPORT

Committee Chair Ed Bush noted that a list of potential criteria for plant evaluations is still needed. He will work with Jim Robbins to complete this list based on the spreadsheet that Jim had previously circulated. The sponsor of a plant under evaluation will be responsible for determining the specific evaluation criteria for that particular plant, the type and format of publication for disseminating final results, and determination of authorship.

Ed Bush will contact prior members who had plants under evaluation (see Table 1) to determine whether they have data on their plants and whether final reports will be prepared. It needs to be determined how to handle situations in which data in not available or reports cannot be prepared.

NEW (AND RECENT) PLANTS FOR EVALUATION

Gary Knox reported that plants of Arachis glabrata 'Ecoturf' were available for distribution at today's meeting, and proposed that this plant be changed from informal evaluation to official evaluation status. Gary distributed an information sheet on this plant.

Alex Niemiera reported that plants of Parrotia persica 'Jennifer Teates' were available for distribution at today's meeting, and proposed that the year of introduction of this plant for evaluation be changed from 2008 to 2011. Alex will send out an information sheet to evaluators.

Gene Blythe reported that plants of Eucalyptus neglecta and Tagetes nelsonii were available for distribution at today's meeting. Gene proposed that Artemisia afra (African wormwood) be evaluated, with plants available for distribution at today's meeting if approved for evaluation. Gene will send out information sheets to evaluators.

Gary Knox motioned that Arachis glabrata 'Ecoturf' be added to the list of plant evaluations as FL11-01, Parrotia persica 'Jennifer Teates' be changed to VA11-01, and Artemisia afra be added as MS11-01. The motion was seconded by Donna Fare and approved unanimously.

Donna Fare reported that yellow-flowered magnolias would be proposed and made available for distribution at the 2012 meeting.

Ed Bush proposed that several Japanese maples seen by the group on yesterday's tour of Garden Designs Nursery would be good candidates for evaluation. Upon selection of 3 to 5 cultivars (Ed would communicate with members via Email), nursery owner David Freed could produce grafted plants at a reasonable cost to those wishing to evaluate plants in their states. Matthew Chappell could bring the plants to next year's meeting if they are ready. Donna Fare motioned that this proposal be pursued by Ed and Matthew. The motion was seconded by Alex Niemiera and approved unanimously.

NEXT YEAR'S MEETING

Anthony LeBude reported that he and Tom Ranney would be organizing the meeting in Asheville, North Carolina for 2012. The meeting was originally to be held in West Virginia, but Todd West's move from West Virginia to North Dakota necessitated the change to Asheville (originally scheduled as the 2013 meeting location).

OTHER BUSINESS

Anthony LeBude suggested that a seminar for the public on best plants for the southeast presented by members of this group could be a good fund-raining activity. Funds could be distribution among group members who make presentations to fund costs associated with distribution of future plants for evaluation. Anthony volunteered to organize a trial program to coincide with the 2012 meeting in Asheville.

The meeting was adjourned by President Anthony LeBude at 6:15 PM. The meeting was followed by a tour of the UGA trial gardens with Allan Armitage.


Table 1. Plants selected for evaluation by SERA-27 that will need final reports.

Plant

Number

Date

Faculty Introducing

State

Michellia skinneriana

FL00-01

2000

Gary Knox

Florida

Magnolia 'Jon-Jon'

FL01-01

2001

Gary has prepared a paper for SNA 2012

Florida

Viburnum luzonicum

FL04-01

2004

Gary Knox

Florida

Arachis glabrata 'Ecoturf'

FL11-01

2010

Gary Knox

Florida

Stachys coccinea

AR01-01

2001

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

Conradina canescens 'SPH'

AR01-02

2001

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

Amsonia 'SPH'

AR03-01

2003

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

Buddleja 02-25-142

AR04-01

2004

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

Buddleja 03-05-045

AR05-01

2005

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

Ceanothus x delilianus 'Gloire de Versailles'

AR05-02

2005

Jon Lindstrom

Arkansas

xSinocalycanthus raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine'

NC02-01

2001

Tom Ranney

North Carolina

Betula nigra 'Summer Cascade'

NC03-01

2003

Tom Ranney

North Carolina

Daphniphyllum macropodum

DC02-01

2002

Margaret Pooler

Wash., D.C.

Forsythia 'Fairy-Land'

TN03-01

2003

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Forsythia 'Minikin'

TN03-02

2003

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Forsythia 'Tinkle Bells'

TN03-03

2003

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Forsythia 'Pygmy red'

TN03-04

2003

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Callicarpa dichotoma 'Duet'

TN07-01

2007

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Syringa 'Betty Ross'

TN07-02

2007

Donna Fare

Tennessee

Pinus ayacahuite

AL05-01

2005

Ken Tilt

Alabama

Taxodium distichum seedling selections

TX07-01

2007

Mike Arnold

Texas

Hypericum olympicum

KY08-02

2008

Win Dunwell

Kentucky

Hypericum 'Blue Velvet'

KY08-01

2008

Win Dunwell

Kentucky

Rhododendron 'Gulfray'

MS04-01

2004

Win will write a report

Kentucky

Hemerocallis 'Octavia', 'Happy Returns', and 'Milano White'

KY99-03

1999

Win Dunwell

Kentucky

Arisaema draconitum

KY10-01

2010

Win Dunwell

Kentucky

Eucalyptus neglecta

MS09-01

2009

Gene Blythe

Mississippi

Tagetes nelsonii

MS10-01

2010

Gene Blythe

Mississippi

Artemisia afra

MS11-01

2011

Gene Blythe

Mississippi

Parrotia persica 'Jennifer Teates'

VA11-01

2008

Alex Niemiera

Virginia

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