Topic: Rutgers University Dogwood Breeding Program: Past, Present and Future
When: Wednesday, May 25, 7:30-8:30PM (BPC general mtg from 7-7:30PM)
Where: United Way, 60 S. Fullerton Way, Montclair, NJ
RSVP via email
Over the past nearly 50 years, the world famous Rutgers University dogwood breeding program has introduced highly popular, landmark dogwood tree cultivars known for their large floral bracts, superior winter hardiness, tolerance of drought conditions, and high resistance to common pests and diseases.
While many of Rutgers’ most popular favorites such as Stellar Pink® and Celestial® can currently be seen in full bloom all around us, it is their Rutgers’ release, Cornus kousa 'Rutpink' Scarlet Fire™ that is getting all the buzz (find out more about Scarlet Fire™).
Attendees will get to hear the program’s lead researcher, Dr. Thomas Molar*, talk about this new and exciting tree, the history of the Rutgers University dogwood breeding program as well as its current status, future direction and goals.
Talk with Q&A is scheduled for 7:30-8:30pm with a brief Conservancy meeting taking place at 7pm. Attendance is free and open to the public, but donations of $5 per person are appreciated and directly support the Conservancy’s efforts to provide educational programming related to Brookdale Park.
*About our speaker: Thomas Molnar received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2006. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Plant Biology and Pathology Department of the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (New Brunswick, New Jersey). His research program concentrates on the genetic improvement and study of hazelnuts (Corylus) and large-bracted dogwoods (Cornus). Part of this work includes germplasm exploration, collection, and evaluation. A major aspect of his current research is developing and characterizing genetic resistance to eastern filbert blight, a fungal disease which is the primary limiting factor of hazelnut production in the eastern North America. Breeding objectives in both woody ornamentals and hazelnuts emphasize selection for high levels of disease and pest resistance and cold hardiness.