JUNE 24, 1999

Meeting was called to order by Chairman Win Dunwell, 24 June 1999.

Meeting Participants in 1999
-- Ken Tilt - ktilt@acesag.auburn.edu
Arkansas -- John Lindstrom - trannel@comp.uark.edu; Jim Robbins - jrobbins@uaex.edu
Florida -- Richard Beeson - rcb@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu; Gary Knox - gwk@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu
Georgia -- John Ruter - ruter@tifton.cpes.peachnet.edu
Kentucky -- Win Dunwell - wdunwell@ca.uky.ed
Louisiana -- Edward Bush - ebush@agctr.lsu.edu; Alan Owings - lowings@agctr.lsu.edu
Mississippi -- Patricia Knight - tricia@ra.msstate.edu
North Carolina -- Tom Ranney - tranney@fletcher.ces.ncsu.edu
Oklahoma -- Mike Schnelle
South Carolina -- Tom Fernandez -frnndz@clemson.edu
Tennessee -- Will Witte - wwitte@utk.edu; Bill Klingeman - wklingem@utk.edu
Texas -- Michael Arnold - ma-arnold@tamu.edu
Virginia -- Alex Niemiera -niemiera@vt.edu
US National Arboretum -- Margaret Pooler - mpooler@ars-grin.gov; Donna Fare - dfare@blomand.net
Administrative Advisors -- Dewayne Ingram - dingram@ca.uky.edu ; University of Kentucky

Elections of Officers
Current SERA-IEG-27 officers are Chair Win Dunwell, Secretary Donna Fare, and Executive Committee Member Mike Arnold. The traditional sequence of officers progresses such that the Executive Committee Member moves to Secretary, and the Secretary move to Chair.
A motion was made by Will Witte that an official USDA representative be included from the TSU Nursery Research Station in McMinnville; Gary Knox seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Tom Ranney moved that Gary Knox be nominated for Executive Committee Member, Mike Arnold for Secretary and Donna Fare for Chair; Will Witte seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The slate of officers was elected by acclamation.

Dr. Tom Elias, director of the US National Arboretum addressed the group about the mission, research locations and goals of the arboretum.

Departmental reports:

University of Kentucky: see attachment 1.

University of Tennessee has narrowed the search for a Nursery Extension Specialist to two candidates. Bill Klingeman is in a new research position for woody nursery crop research. Phase I of the new 8500 square feet greenhouse complex is underway. Jim Faust is leaving UT Extension and accepted a teaching/research position at Clemson University. Several deans and associate deans will retire in the next fiscal year along with Don Williams and Will Witte, members of the OHLD department. The trial garden has received support from the Friends of the Garden to hire three part time students to assist in the garden. A Master of Science in Public Horticulture is now in place. Undergraduate enrollment is about 250.

The US National Arboretum: see attachment 2.

University of Arkansas: Jim Robbins joined the faculty in November of 1998 in an extension/research position and John Lindstrom has recently filled a teaching/research position. Al Einhart has retired and a new floriculture position announcement is out. A new plant evaluation program to market and promote ornamentals is underway at three locations in the state. Fifteen to twenty woody and herbaceous plants will be evaluated annually for 5 years.

North Carolina State University has hired Robert Lyons as the new director for the J.C. Raulston Arboretum and is advertising for an assistant director at the Master of Science level. University of Florida: A turf specialist including responsibilities for home lawns and a landscape management specialist will be advertised soon. The ornamental teaching programs are in place at Ft. Pierce, Ft. Lauderdale, Milton, and Homestead. Four new positions were added at Homestead. The new evaluation gardens on campus are progressing.

Texas A&M has a floriculture position coming open. The CEMAP program is growing for evaluating plant material for Texas landscapes and future funding is expected with the Texas Super Star plant tags. Trials are in 5 locations in the state where plants are evaluated for 2 years. The new 5 acre garden near the Bush Library will probably be named for Barbara Bush.

University of Georgia is seeking a department head for the Horticulture Department. Joyce Latimar left and joined the faculty at VPI.

Mississippi State University will replace John Davis who recently passed away. His position was extension of the Gulf Coast. Patricia Knight is working closely with the Crosby Arboretum known for the collection of native plants indigenous to the Gulf Coast.

Virginia Tech: Robert Lyons left VPI to join NCSU's faculty and Joyce Latimar joined the floriculture faculty at VPI. Three acres will be added to the existing one-acre garden. The landscape industry wants irrigation, Spanish and business courses added to the horticulture curriculum.

Oklahoma State University's plant promotion program, Oklahoma Proven, is gaining popularity.

Auburn University - see attachment 3.

Clemson University is constructing a new greenhouse complex and bio-tech complex with groundbreaking in July. Student enrollment is at 150. The Southern Living home adjacent to the botanical garden is now a Visitor Center.

Louisiana State University hired Drew Bates to conduct nursery crop research and Bob Mirabella, a masters level, for teaching. Student enrollment is up and horticulture students are getting jobs at golf courses. A plant material conference is held annually to promote ornamental plants. The Gulf State Horticulture Expo had about 550 at the one day educational program at the Gulf States Trade Show.

Guidelines for homepages of regional projects and activities were discussed. A committee comprised of Patricia Knight, Tom Ranney, Will Dunwell and Ken Tilt (chair) will develop a homepage. Suggested topics to be included on the home page are plant evaluations and links to the member university's teaching, research, and extension programs. See attachment 4 for SAAESD guidelines.

The plant evaluation program was discussed. A Distributor Information Sheet was developed by the plant evaluation committee. See attachment 5. The plant evaluation sheet will be available on the web site http://www.ag.auburn.edu/landscape/sera/. See attachment 6. Data from the plant evaluation can be archived and retrieved by any of the evaluation factors. Distributors will send up to 3 plants to each cooperator, 3 ideally, but 1or 2 plants in some cases. The distributor will send the distributor information sheet and will be responsible for gathering the information on the plant(s) evaluated. A reminder will be sent by the distributor for timely plant evaluation information. The Plant Evaluation Committee will oversee this process.

A discussion arose concerning the costs of the plant distribution (mailing and postage) and publication costs. Since this SERA-IEG plant evaluation is in its infancy, accomplishments are minimal, which would reduce funding from some granting agencies i.e. HRI. The distributor will be responsible for the cost of distributing the plants. Plants will be shipped from the distributor when ready for landscape evaluation.

How do we retrofit plants from the past evaluation into the current evaluation system? Each person who has distributed plants must complete the Distribution Information Sheet. Cooperators need to send evaluation information to Margaret Pooler for compilation of plants that have been distributed to date. The final report is the responsibility of the distributor. Pictures of these plants are needed for the final report and for the homepage.

Past plants include:



Cooperator to report


Rhododendron 'Gulfray'

Sam Laiche

Will Witte and Win Dunwell


Cercis canadensis 'Silver Cloud'

Win Dunwell

will re-evaluate

Cornus mas 'Spring Glow'

Tom Ranney



Acer oliverianum spp. Formosanum

John Ruter



Styrax japonica 'Emerald Pagoda'

Tom Ranney


Pittosporum heterophyllum

Ken Tilt


Cephalotazus harrington

Will Witte


Berry College selection
Conradina canescens

Gary Knox



Illicum mexicana 'Aztec Fire'

Tom Ranney


Lagerstroemia 'Chickasaw'

Margaret Pooler


Lagerstroemia 'Pocomoke'

Margaret Pooler


A third document is needed to develop the protocol for the plant evaluation. Win Dunwell will compile notes from previous meetings and send the notes to Gary Knox, Mike Arnold, and Donna Fare to develop the protocol guidelines.

The afternoon session was a tour of the US National Arboretum by curators of the arboretum.

The meeting was adjourned after dinner on 24 June 1999 at 2030.

Meeting reconvened at 0830 on 25 June 1999 at the USDA facilities in Beltsville, Maryland.

The morning session was a bus tour of the research facilities at Beltsville then a walking tour guided by Rob Greisbach of the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit.

The business session continued during lunch. A list of plants to evaluate in 2000 was developed. The Distributor is responsible for updating the database of information sent from the cooperators and writing the final report of the evaluated plant. The database format is available on the web site.



Iris x Churchhill Downs

Win Dunwell

Cercis canadensis'Silver Cloud'

Win Dunwell


Win Dunwell

Sophora Persian Pagoda

Alex Niemeria

Morus Golden Paper Mulberry

Will Witte

Clethra Ruby Spice

Will Witte

Ulmus elegantissima Elm

Will Witte

Salix Rosemary leaf Willow

Will Witte


Ken Tilt


Tom Ranney

Bulbine caulescens

Mike Arnold (see attachment 7)

Plumbago auriculata 'Hullabaloo

Mike Arnold (see attachment 7)

Ipomoea fistulosa Dwarf Morning Glory

Mike Arnold (see attachment 7)


Margaret Pooler


Margaret Pooler

Magnolia spp.

Gary Knox (see attachment 8)

2000 Meeting Site
Richard Beeson will host the meeting in Apopka, Florida on July 26-27 just after the ASHS annual conference in Orlando. Tennessee and Texas will host an annual meeting sometime in the future.

Win Dunwell thanked everybody for attending and their participation. Win called for adjournment. A motion was made by Mike Arnold and seconded by Will Witte. The vote was unanimous.

Respectively submitted by Donna C. Fare, Secretary.

6/4/2009 5:38:35 AM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture