January 12, 2003

MRS Meeting Report: January. 12, 2003

Maine Rose Society Monthly Meeting: January 12, 2003

Present: Members: Merle Bacastow, Louise Bacastow, Kay Buffum, Soren Christensen, Jerry Cinnamon, Clarence Rhodes, Margaret Edwards, Joan Gotlibson, Roger Gotlibson, Vaughn Hardesty, Clair Holman, Sari Hou, Rita Lesniak, Frank O’Connor, John Sarna, Wilma Sarna. Guest: one guest

Speaker Dr. Lois Berg Stack

The speaker for this meeting was Dr. Lois Berg Stack, Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist from the University of Maine, a Land Grant institution. http://www.umext.maine.edu/topics/ornament.htm

Dr. Stack’s Position and Duties in Maine

Dr. Stack began her talk by explaining the nature of the Land Grant University. A land-grant university is directed to educate the people and solve problems through academics, research and extension programs. This means that along with traditional academics, agriculture, and outreach programs were established by both the original act of the United States Congress in 1862 and subsequence following acts, including one in 1914 establishing Extension Services. A good source that explains acts establishing the land grant system is http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/orientation/landgrant/landgrant.htm

Within the duties of her position Dr. Stack works with the entire variety of Ornamental Horticulture in the State of Maine in three major groups. The first group includes commercial industry members: nurseries, landscape companies, greenhouses, florists and garden centers. The second group includes people involved in public horticulture: botanic gardens, arboreta, public parts and community horticulture projects. The last group includes home gardeners including educational program provided through television and radio shows, newspaper articles, and the Maine Master Gardener Programhttp://www.ume.maine.edu/MGMAINE/welcome.htm

Rogers Farm and Trial Rose Beds http://www.umaine.edu/mafes/farms/rogers.htm

Rogers Farms is the University of Maine’s Research Farm in Stillwater, Maine. The farm was purchase by the University of Maine in 1947 to grow forage for the University’s dairy herd, and to have land to conduct research on crops. Dr. Stack established a rose hardness trial garden in 1977. The garden is maintained by volunteers of the Penobscot Master Gardner’s program.  The garden contains 125 roses at this writing.

Dr. Stack eagerly sought, from Maine Rose Society members, the names of potential rose cultivars to grow at Rogers Farm. Currently the trial garden contains Alba, Centifolia, Damask, Gallica, Foetida hybrids, Long Cane Roses, Moss, Moyesii hybrids, Polyantha, Rugosa, Shrub, Species, and roses by hybridizers Austin and Buck. MRS members offered their choices.

The Rogers Farm Rose Trials is an effort in sustainable agriculture that is carried out both here and at a site in Vermont. In this effort to discover hardy species and cultivars the roses are winter protected the first winter, but there is no protection during subsequent years. The roses are not sprayed with herbicides and are evaluated for black spot, affinity to Japanese Beetles, Rose Gall, and so on. Each year the roses are evaluated and given a rating, primarily based on hardness. The rose is ranked 1 if dead and 5 if no pruning is required after winter.  A table of ratings is available from Dr. Lois Berg Stack.lstack@umext.maine.edu  Dr. Stack showed slides of many of her favorites from the garden.

Dr. Stack is interested in taking this research into sustainable horticulture by discovering and propagating found roses, or cultivars that once planted have sustained themselves over the years without help from human hands. These are truly hardy plants that could then be reintroduced into production and the landscape for future gardeners to enjoy knowing that they have a carefree hardy plant.

by MRS secretary: Jerry Cinnamon, Feb. 7th, 2003