National Arboretum Glenn Dale Azalea Planting
Aaron recently posted a notice that Mr. Scott Aker the Unit Garden Leader for the National Arboretum had decided the Glenn Dale azaleas at the National Arboretum should be destroyed next summer. As many of you know this collection on Mount Hamilton is very historic and is the result of a tremendous (and federally funded) breeding effort by Dr. Morrison in his long tenure with the USDA. I do not know the reasoning behind this decision, but there should be a rather direct route to stop this action. The US Congress budgets and approves the annual budget appropriation for USDA and thus the National Arboretum. Attached are links to both the US House of Representatives House Committee on Agriculture and the US Senate Agriculture Committee membership which oversee setting the budget for the department. If your Congressman or Senator is on one of these committees write him or her a note or letter (email is not as effective)and ask them to look into this and express your concern about the loss of this national treasure of Azaleas. These committee members will respond much better to someone writing them from their state or congressional district. Do not mail your note or letter to Washington, mail it to the local or state office of the Senator or Congressman. If you mail it directly to DC, it goes to some warehouse where it is treated and will show up next spring with the tulips, looking like it was on the bottom of a bird cage. You can Google your Congressman or Senator for their district or state office address.
This simple action of writing a letter about saving the historic, and valuable Glenn Dale Azalea planting at the National Arboretum can be very effective. Congress has many important and difficult issues to act on, if you bring this simple solvable issue to the attention of your member of this committee with funding oversight of the National Arboretum, they can likely solve it with a phone call.
These links worked when I checked them, if they don’t work for you, simply Google Senate Agriculture Committee and House Committee on Agriculture and click on the respective members link.