JUNE 13, 2001

Advisors: Dewayne Ingram (University of Kentucky) and David Foster (Oklahoma State University).

Official Representatives: Tom Ranney (NCSU), Allen Owings (LSU), Ed Bush (LSU), Win Dunwell (UK), Steve George (TAMU), Cynthia McKinney (TAMU/Texas Tech), Mike Arnold (TAMU), Gary Knox (UF), Richard Beeson (UF), Jon Lindstrom (U. Ark.), Bill Klingeman (UT), Greg Eaton (Va. Tech.), Mike Schnelle (Oklahoma State). Other participants: Cecil Pounders (Mississippi State), Jason Griffin (NCSU grad student), Tom Acre (NCSU-Fletcher), and Lauri Fox (Va. Tech.).

The meeting was called to order by the Chair, Mike Arnold (Texas A&M). The Administrative Research Advisor, Dewayne Ingram (UK), introduced our new Administrative Extension Advisor, Dr. David Foster. Dr. Foster is Associate Dean for Extension at Oklahoma State University.

Secretary Gary Knox (UF) briefly reviewed last year's minutes, and Mike Arnold then called for:

·Program Reviews from each University

·Elections of Officers

·Old Business

·New Business

·Future Meeting Sites

·New Plants for Evaluation

Reviews of State University Programs

North Carolina State University: Tom Ranney relayed NC State's budget problems. On the positive side, private and legislative funds have been allocated to construct the McSwain Education Center at Raulston Arboretum. Todd Lasseigne also has been hired by the Arboretum as Assistant Director. NC State has completed interviews for a landscape design position, but they still have vacancies in consumer horticulture and landscape design positions.

Louisiana State University:Allen Owings announced Dr. David Himmelrick has been named their new department head. LSU has been allocated another horticulture position but they don't yet know where it will be located. Dan Gill is the new Extension Specialist in consumer horticulture. Allen also provided a list of current extension and research projects.

University of Kentucky:Win Dunwell reported Dr. Walter Walla, our previous Administrative Extension Advisor, is retiring. Win distributed a handout and mentioned the New Crop Opportunities Center, recent recipient of federal funding to help diversify Kentucky's agriculture.

Texas A&M: Steve George reported their CMAP program is now an integrated project of research and extension personnel. A new CMAP website allows all evaluation sites to enter data via the Web. Their most recent evaluation project is screening 117 taxa of roses. In personnel changes, Sam Cotton (department head) and George McEachern (fruit extension specialist) are retiring. Cynthia McKinney is in a new position that is a joint appointment with Texas A&M and Texas Tech. Texas A&M will have vacant positions resulting from the previously mentioned retirements and also may receive a new position specializing in basic plant physiology. A number of county agent positions are available.

Mississippi State University: Cecil Pounders started in his position September 2000. Mississippi State currently is holding meetings with Auburn University to discuss sharing programs. State funding from Mississippi is limited but they have received federal funding to develop a regional center at Poplarville, potentially involving USDA research with ornamental crops (a plant pathologist already was hired). They have received funding to remodel state facilities. Cecil is involved in provenance studies of oaks and breeding of magnolia, dogwood, azalea, canna, alstroemeria, and calla.

University of Florida: Richard Beeson reported retirements of Gary Wilfret (research; caladium breeder) and Jennifer Bradley (teaching/research in public horticulture). George Fitzpatrick (Ft. Lauderdale REC) has been reassigned part-time to help with the new environmental horticulture program at the Tropical REC (Homestead). Assistant Dean for Research Everett Emino stepped down to become a faculty member in the Environmental Horticulture Department in Gainesville. Other new faculty are Eva Worden (teaching/research at Ft. Lauderdale REC) and Wagner Vendrame (teaching/research at TREC-Homestead). UF/IFAS' budget suffered a 15% cut this fiscal year, and accordingly Administration has frozen 31 vacant positions (including 5 positions in Environmental Horticulture). Fortunately, the Mid-Florida REC (Apopka) is still able to hire for a teaching/research position. In some positive news, Gary Knox informed the group about new facilities being constructed at the University of Florida's North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, outside Tallahassee), with occupancy expected this October.

University of Arkansas: Jon Lindstrom reported a stable budget. The University is advertising for a Dean. Mike Evans has been hired in a new floriculture position so the Department is now fully staffed. The enrollment has stabilized at 95 undergraduates of which 60% have a turf emphasis and 40% are in ornamentals. Jon and Jim Robbins have a statewide plant evaluation program that will be emphasizing broadleaf evergreens over the next few years.

University of Tennessee: Bill Klingeman described recent upheavals with the former Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design. As of July 1, the Department will be consolidated into the Plant Sciences and Landscape Systems Department. Dr. Trigiano is Interim Department Head and they are actively looking for a permanent Head, just as the University is seeking a President. The consolidated department has 250 undergraduates and also provides for a Ph.D. program. Newly hired faculty include a turf stress physiologist and breeder and a nursery/ornamentals extension specialist (Dr. Garton). Positions in plant biotechnology and a Chair of Excellence will be hired, and they are currently interviewing candidates for tree physiologist. There is a move to encourage more cooperation between USDA-ARS and UT-Knoxville.

Oklahoma State University: Mike Schnelle reported David Foster is new Associate Dean for Extension; a new host has been hired for the TV show, "Oklahoma Gardening"; candidates are interviewing for a floriculture position vacated by John Dole's departure to NC State; and a new vegetable extension specialist was hired. The "Oklahoma Proven" plant promotion program is ongoing and includes industry representatives as well as University faculty.

Virginia Tech University: Greg Eaton reported for Blacksburg faculty. The Department includes 27 faculty of which 6 are in ornamentals. There are 28 graduate students (including 8 in ornamentals) and 120 undergraduates (with landscape design as the primary major). Number of undergraduates seems to be declining. New faculty include Greg Eaton (hired five months ago as the new nursery/landscape extension specialist), department head, floriculture position with a research emphasis, floriculture position with a teaching emphasis, and a plant pathologist (at Virginia Beach). The Department may be granted a new position in molecular breeding for ornamentals. Virginia Tech is interested in new plant development, and they offer three test sites for plant evaluation: Blacksburg, Richmond, and Virginia Beach.

Laurie Fox stated that 70 species are being evaluated at the Virginia Beach research station, where she is located. Six faculty are located there and research/extension activities involve the Asian ambrosia beetle, mycorrhizae, recycled water, weed control, plants for water gardens, and aquatic weed control. Virginia Beach offers a non-thesis M.S. degree in Horticulture; they will graduate 12 from the program this summer out of 28 students currently enrolled. Their students tend to be older, non-traditional students.

Elections of Officers

The Executive Committee currently consists of Mike Arnold (Chair), Gary Knox (Secretary) and Bill Klingeman. Traditionally, the Chair steps down at the end of the term, other officers move up, and a new member of the Executive Committee is elected. Thus, by affirmation, Gary Knox was elected Chair and Bill Klingeman was elected Secretary. Jon Lindstrom was nominated as member of the Executive Committee, and he was elected by affirmation.

Old Business

HortTechnology Article: Mike Arnold called for a round of applause in thanks to Win Dunwell for his work on the article about SERA IEG 27 to be published in HortTechnology. Win distributed a copy of the article. He also handed out copies of the grant application that had been submitted to (and rejected by) the J. Frank Schmidt Foundation.

Plant Evaluation Discussion and Plant Evaluation Committee Report: The Plant Evaluation Committee currently consists of Margaret Pooler (Committee Chair), Ken Tilt and Ed Bush. Margaret Pooler and Ken Tilt were unable to attend the meeting. Ed Bush had nothing further to report. Mike Arnold said our group seems "not well-committed" to data reporting. Possible reasons:

·we are asking for detailed collection information, and some folks may not monitor plants closely enough to record it;

·there may be frustration with online entry of data and access to data for review.

Cynthia McKinney gave some comments about databases, data collection and web-based reporting. After general discussion, the group settled on the idea of setting one deadline for everyone to have data entered: February 1 was decided as the deadline.

Further discussion centered on the idea of revising the data form and on holding each other accountable for reporting on plants they gave or were given.

Previously distributed taxa were reviewed so as to determine which are ready for their final stage of evaluation. Win Dunwell stated the daylilies he distributed were ready, but he wanted one more year of data on the iris. Unfortunately there is not good documentation on who has which plants, so it often is difficult to know who to contact for data. Ken Tilt may have much of this information. Bill Klingeman stated that plants sent to Will Witte may be "lost" since Will retired.

The group committed to writing an SNA article on this program, but no one indicated they had sufficient data to write an article. Dewayne Ingram reminded us that information published about a plant by one of our group should be reviewed by the other individuals who received that plant.

We reviewed the procedures for plant evaluation:

1.an individual nominates a plant and presents a synopsis of plant characteristics

2.the group votes to accept or reject the plant for evaluation

3.individuals volunteer to receive and evaluate the plant

4.the nominator ships plants (ideally, landscape-size plant material) and an "information/distribution sheet" to evaluators

5.the nominator arranges to have the plant information entered on the website

6.the Plant Evaluation Committee assigns an entry date and entry code (state-year-plant number) to the plant.

Tom Ranney followed up with the question, "Is the person sending out the plant supposed to send out a call for information?" Yes, informally, but there are no deadlines. The group had opted to set up the website to avoid deadlines, reduce paperwork etc.

Dewayne reminded us the Plant Evaluation Committee is supposed to facilitate collection and reporting of information. The Plant Evaluation Committee is a three member committee, with the Chair reporting each year, and membership rotating on a three year cycle. The Plant Evaluation Committee decides on data format and changes. Margaret Pooler, current Committee Chair, has been unable to attend our meeting due to conflicts, and her term expires. The group then voted to develop new membership on the committee: the group asked Ed Bush to continue on the committee as well as Margaret Pooler and Ken Tilt. Greg Eaton and Win Dunwell volunteered to participate, with Win agreeing to be Chair. These members were then elected by affirmation. The Plant Evaluation Committee for 2002 now consists of: Win Dunwell (Committee Chair), Margaret Pooler, Ken Tilt, and Greg Eaton.

Group Communications: Dewayne reminded the group he is happy to forward emails to the entire group. Win asked for an updated list of names and addresses of SERA IEG 27 members, and Dewayne distributed a list.

New Business

Renewal of the Mission of SERA IEG 27: Dewayne told us our group is authorized until Fall 2002. Within the next year, we need to pull together another proposal for renewal (by Spring 2002). David said we could update the previous request and include a summary of activities, timelines, and accomplishments. Dewayne has the procedures for doing this, and is supportive of renewal if we finalize our efforts in terms of plants distributed, recipients of the plants, and data collected thus far.

Mike Arnold asked the group if we wanted to continue the current mission or revise it. Dewayne read a summary of our current mission. Greg asked about other official regional groups and activities. Dewayne and David reviewed the various groups and structures: Regional Research Project; IEG (Information Exchange Group; research only); SERA IEG ("Southern Extension Research Activity - Information Exchange Group"; research and extension); SERA IEGTF ("SERA IEG Task Force"; a temporary group that is less formal); SERA IEG Conference (a time-limited group formed to hold a specific conference).

After discussion, we decided to continue as a SERA IEG.

Allen moved and Greg seconded that we renew SERA IEG 27. The motion passed unanimously. The Executive Committee will work on the renewal with help from Mike Schnelle. To develop the renewal information, the current Plant Evaluation Committee needs to gather data for the Executive Committee, including plants distributed, plant distributor, plant recipient, data collected, expected outcome, and information gained to date.

Discussion followed regarding possible inclusion of a materials transfer agreement for distributing materials that a state may wish to trademark. There was additional discussion about changing to a three-year minimum evaluation period to accommodate herbaceous perennials, but the group decided against it. There was mention of shipping costs limiting the number, frequency and size of a plant being distributed.

Meeting Sites The 2002 meeting is scheduled for Tennessee. Donna Fare and Bill Klingeman will coordinate this meeting, possibly in the McMinnville area. The 2003 meeting site is proposed to be at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Potential dates are June 13 - 15, 20 - 22, or 5 - 8. Future meeting sites could be (listed in no particular order): Asheville, North Carolina; Quincy, Florida; Blacksburg, Virginia; or Oklahoma.

New Plants for Evaluation Tom Ranney proposed evaluating a Sinocalycanthus Calycanthus hybrid, originally crossed by Richard Hartlage ten years ago at Raulston Arboretum, North Carolina. This plant now is named Sinocalycanthus raulstonia. This shrub grows 8 to 10 feet tall, prefers shade, and has burgundy flowers. This is the first release from NC State's major effort in working with Calycanthus species.

Greg Eaton proposed Parrottia persica 'Jennifer Teats'. This is the fastigiate form of Parrottia that Alex Niemiera had proposed in earlier years. Greg now believes there are enough plants to distribute.

Jon Lindstrom presented information on Monardella, Stachys and a Conradina canescens selection.

Laurie Fox suggested Persea thunbergii, Manglietia yunnanensis for distribution.

Gary Knox presented information on Magnolia H (Gresham Hybrid) 'Jon Jon'.

All plants were approved, and distribution sign-up sheets were passed around.

Other Topics

Mike Arnold is the incoming leader of an ASHS Working Group. They submitted the topic of large tree production and establishment. They are looking for topics of interest from this group to submit for future workshops. Laurie suggested use of recycled water for landscape irrigation.

Cynthia McKinney then gave a presentation on Texas A&M's ongoing rose trials. Currently they are evaluating over 117 roses for low maintenance, flowering, foliage, etc. They are looking for cooperators in other states. Following the presentation, there was a general discussion on perceptions of consumer demand for roses, etc.

With no further topics for discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by

Gary W. Knox
Secretary, SERA IEG 27
University of Florida
North Florida Research and Education Center

6/4/2009 5:53:52 AM
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