The Valley Forge Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society invites you to join them for a series of informative lectures at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. All lectures are free of charge. No pre-registration required. The second lecture of the winter/spring season will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30 pm.
The lecture, A Novel Technique of Grafting Rhododendrons, will be presented by Karel Bernady. Karel will share his personal experiences with the new grafting approach. Karel co-chairs the Greater Philadelphia Chapter's Plants and Propagation Committee with responsibility for the Chapter's Plants for Members Program. He serves as Chairman of the Trustees of the Research Foundation and co-chairs the Research Committee of the ARS. The Greater Philadelphia Chapter began its Plants for Members Program in 1986. When Karel was appointed to manage the program in 2003, he was determined to document the propagation performance of the various cultivars attempted. Experience over the last eight years with poor rootability of some plants and death of successfully rooted varieties during summer's heat caused Karel to consider grafting as a possible solution to these difficulties. In May 2010, Karel attended the International Rhododendron Symposium in Bremen, Germany. At the Fredo Schoder Nursery, Timo schroeder demonstrated in detail the grafting method used for elepidote rhododendrons, i.e., the simultaneous grafting and rooting of a scion/unrooted understock unit. The nursery propagates 1.5 million elepidote rhododendrons per year by the technique. Armed with information Timo provided, Karel tried the method in November 2010 on thirty-one elepidote cultivars. The results were very gratifying and he has further refined his technique. He will share the information learned and encourage us to try the technique to propagate troublesome elepidote rhododendrons.