Safety Harbor Garden Club

General Membership Meeting

October 19, 2022


The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. at Moccasin Lake Nature Park.  There were approximately 30 attendees.


Finance:  Celeste reported that the October balance was $6,317.07.  There have been various expenses, such as name tags and website fees.  There has been income from new member dues.  Also, the most recent plant sale brought in $873.00.  The current balance is $7,028.44.


Membership:  Paula reported that there are 99 paid members, which includes 50 members that joined in 2022.  She also introduced our newest member, Jackie, who is our first new member for 2023.


Social Media:  Judy reported that the Facebook page is up and running.  Anyone is welcome to post on the page, such as photos and gardening tips.  Anything regarding Garden Club business must go through the Board for approval first. 


Judy also reported that the website is up and running.  The Sign-up Genius will be sent via e-mail to all members and is to be used to sign up to bring food for our meetings.  Also, “Mail Chimp” is a new type of e-mail that will provide important information on our Club.  Judy asks that members check their spam folder just in case the mail chimp e-mails get re-directed.


Folly Farm:  Gary reported that the Folly Farm nursery is undergoing changes.  The nursery building has been moved and irrigation is being updated.  In order to move Club plant inventory, the Plant Sale is ongoing, and not limited to the 2nd Saturday.  It was generally agreed that all plants are BOGO (Buy one Get one Free) right now.


Fright Night at Folly Farm:  This event will take place on Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Non-profit organizations participate in the event and get a percentage of the gate fees.  The Garden Club is doing a “Zom-bees” theme with costumes and a hive, along the scare zone on the haunted trail.  We are promoting the message to plant more pollinator plants.


Pollinator Pathway:  Gary reported that Wilcox Nursery will be delivering $1,000 worth of plants on Thursday. These will be planted in front of Folly Farm as part of the pollinator pathway.  Volunteers are encouraged to help.


Miscellaneous Business: 

Gary reported that future 2nd Saturday plant sales will include workshops, providing opportunities for attendance of members that are not available for our monthly meetings on Wednesdays.


There will be a Volunteer Cookout some time in December.  Also, the Holiday Party is scheduled for December 15th at Moccasin Lake Nature Park.


Gary will send an e-mail regarding events, dates and volunteer needs.


Featured Speaker:

Harriett introduced our speaker, Alan Mayberry, who is a respected, experienced and accomplished arborist.  The subject was “Pruning for Health and Beauty.”  Alan stated that he worked as an arborist for City of Dunedin for 32 years and a few years with City of Safety Harbor.  His perspective is focused on public safety.  His biggest influence was Dr. Schivo, who is considered the “Father of Horticulture.”  Alan learned about trees at a cellular level and stated that trees are the largest organism on earth.  “You have to understand trees.” 


Alan stated that every pruning cut should have a purpose.  Pruning should be to improve structure, improve safety, improve health, and/or to take out structural defects.  Alan stated that a tree service should first study a tree to assess needs.  Many times a tree does not need pruning.


It is important to realize that trees will never produce more weight than it can support.  However, there are caveats.


Up until the 1970s it was a general practice to severely top trees.  Anti-topping ordinances are now in place.  Center pruning is never based on any type of science.  Inappropriate thinning includes “Lion tailing.”  The more taken out of the center, the weaker the remaining branches are against the wind.  The center branches help block, or slow down, the wind energy.  Also, all branches bring food/photosynthesis into the bark of the tree.  Lack of branches results in lack of enough food for trees.  Inappropriate pruning can cause open wounds allowing pathogens to enter trees.


The proper way to thin a tree is to work at the top, upper canopy, not in the center.


Alan stated that palms need 8-2-12 fertilizer, four times per year.  Otherwise, deficiencies result, for example yellowing.  Palms have massive root systems, as much as 25-30 feet.


Alan spoke about tree health and duty of care, especially when a tree is surrounded by cement.  Trees need moisture and oxygen.  It is important to look at the health and structure of a tree.  A tree may be healthy but how is the tree supporting itself under cement?  Will this tree fall on a building or car?  Many trees are healthy but not stable.

Trees are energy driven organisms and get stressed from pruning.  Trees get their energy from absorbing water and nutrients.  They also need sun for photosynthesis.  It is important to manage the energy system of trees and realize what a tree can tolerate.


The characteristics of a healthy tree are:  foliated tips, crown density and live crown ratio (meaning from ground to top, how much is foliated). 


In closing, Alan stated that tree wounds don’t heal, they just seal.


The Garden Club presented a check to Ralph Till, Treasurer of the Friends of Moccasin Lake.  Ralph spoke briefly about the many accomplishments of the Friends over the past eight years.


Club members participated in the plant swap.


The meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Karen Isak, Recording Secretary