Middle Atlantic Chapter
American Rhododendron Society

The world of Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Fall 2017 MAC Chapter Meeting


Ken Webb – Friday Evening

Ken currently serves as the ARS Western Vice President and has been a “force” in District 1 for years. He and his wife, Madeleine, have been propagating rhododendrons from cuttings for years for the Victoria and other chapters.  The ARS awarded Ken the Silver Medal at the 2017 convention in Eureka, CA. He will talk to us about his beautiful Victoria, BC garden and propagation and give us a preview of the 2018 International Convention in Bremen, Germany.

Barbara Bullock – Saturday Symposium

A horticulturist at the National Arboretum since 1990, with degrees from the University of Maryland, Barbara is the long-time curator of the arboretum’s azalea collections. She will give us a brief history of the collections and an update on the current status of the plantings with particular focus on the renowned Glen Dale hybrids created by the Arboretum’s first director, Benjamin Y. Morrison.

Joe Bruso – Saturday Symposium

Retired as an IT professional and living in Hopkinton, MA, Joe has been active in the Massachusetts Chapter since the 1980s. He is a hybridizer and propagator of rhododendrons and magnolias.  His rhododendron hybridizing goals include attractive and unusual leaves, including long, rounded, large, hairy, and pigmented leaves. His best results are planted in a 3 – 4 acres woodland garden.

Richard Flavell – Saturday Symposium

Richard grew up in Great Britain where he developed an interest in plants and in rhododendrons in particular. After arriving in Connecticut in 1988, he started a garden first in Killingworth and then in Guilford where he has lived since 1994. With helpful mentoring by Gustav Mehlquist and good advice by others, including Nick Nickou, Richard has accumulated a large collection of temperate trees and shrubs with a particular focus on rhododendron species, all planted on 5 acres. His hybridization targets the “big leaf” species of the Grande and Falconera sub-sections. When not hybridizing, Richard is Yale’s Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and member of EMBO, the National Academic of Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine.

Ron Rabideau – Saturday Symposium

A director of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, Ron grew up in Massachusetts loving plants.  He has a BS in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has been an active member of ARS since the early 1980s.  In 1997, he was hired by Hank Schannen, a noted Rhododendron expert, to manage the startup of Rare Find Nursery. After 18 years there, Ron is now at Mercer County Community College as Horticulture lab instructor and greenhouse and teaching/display garden manager. Hybridizing since the mid-1980s, he has one introduction to date: 'Absolute Citron'. Ron has a broad interest in many plants including Magnolia, Clethra and Hydrangea and a strong passion for propagation. Ron has participated in four plant collection expeditions to Asia: China, Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh (India) and The Altai region of Siberia. Ron will discuss mostly exotic species rhododendrons that perform well in the Mid Atlantic Region.

Dale Berrong – Saturday Symposium

A member of the Azalea and Middle Atlantic Chapters, Dale resides in Danielsville, GA and is the president of the American Door & Hardware Company.  He developed expertise over a number of years grafting Japanese maples, a favorite companion plant for rhododendrons.  At his peak production, he grafted 300 to 400 per year, many of which were scions sent to him Maple Society members.  He will give us a presentation on his grafting method and offer tips to those who want to develop the skill.

Steve Krebs – Saturday Evening

Steve is the current ARS Eastern Vice President.  Holding a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics/Horticulture from Michigan State University, he directs The Holden Arboretum’s David G. Leach Research Station in Madison, OH.  Steve will talk to us about the Holden’s breeding and evaluation program of superior rhododendrons for continental climates and its research focused on adaptations of rhododendrons to biotic and abiotic stress.

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