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Editor's Picks

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This report highlights two sites near the limits of the...
Dirk Giseburt | Aug 08, 2019
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Marcie Mayer’s new book, Eating Acorns, has soft “wipeable”...
Roderick Cameron | Aug 07, 2019
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Fourteen participants mustered in Yorkshire, UK, on June...
Shaun Haddock | Aug 07, 2019

Plant Focus

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Dwarf cultivars can be ideal for a small garden. Here are three "mini oaks". 

Ryan Russell's blog

New Champions in New Mexico

I enjoy finding giant trees, and always keep an eye open and a tape measure handy. Some of my finds are only giants in the sense that they are large for their species, such as my National Champion Prunus hortulana (30 ft tall). When my family and I got the chance to traipse around New Mexico in the fall of 2016, acorns and photos were not the only things on my mind. I also brought my tape measure. 

Following a very mild South Carolina winter, many species of plants had begun to break dormancy by mid-March, nearly a month ahead of schedule, setting the table for a potentially disastrous situation.  

Kansas City, Missouri’s Legacy Tree Program

Late September in Missouri is typically the start of acorn season, the most important time of the year for a quercophile. My good friend, Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture for Powell Gardens, south of Kansas City, had sent me pictures of a few cool oaks he had recently found. I invited myself up for a day trip to tag along with Alan and his lead propagator Jesse Stauffer-Baum.

Utilizing Urban Timber

The urban forest provides municipalities, homeowners, business owners, and visitors with many wonderful benefits, but it can also present unique problems. Urban trees may reach proportions matching those found in the wild and when grown in tight spaces, as is common in cities, they can be very difficult to remove when the time comes. The issue then becomes what to do with all of the wood?

Silent Auction at IOS Conference

The upcoming IOS Conference for the first time will feature a silent auction. The proceeds will fund scholarships for students wishing to attend the 2018 Conference. I would like to ask members to search their libraries, collections, nurseries, or workshops to find items they would be willing donate to this auction. Any oak related item such as books, paintings, photographs, live trees, oak woodwork, etc. would be great. If you have items to donate, please contact me at russellry76@yahoo.com to make arrangements.

Pruning Young Oaks

This tree had not been pruned for many years, if at all and as a result it had grown competing leaders. These co-dominant stems were already becoming an issue and if left unchecked, would become a much larger issue...

Hybrid or Not?

While it is very well known that oaks hybridize, can you call every oak you may find with atypical leaves, bark, or acorns a hybrid? 

On the Hunt for Hybrids

Quercus ×egglestonii in Fairview Park in Columbia, Missouri.

Mississippi OOD 2014

The Mississippi Oak Open Days was a great experience represented by attendees from eight states. The weather cooperated nicely and though there had been several days of rain prior to the tours, the weather broke and we had two sunny days of mid to upper 80’s. We were treated to a welcome reception hosted by the Mossy Oak crew in an 1832 American Chestnut log cabin and enjoyed an impromptu tour of several spectacular oaks on the property. The second day we toured a private property filled with unusual species, and saw a number of interesting oaks around the West Point area.

Scouting trip for OOD

I recently went on a scouting trip to Mississippi to plan for an upcoming Oak Open Day. I had been there two years earlier and that is when I got the idea for a tour. I met my good friend Dudley Phelps, who runs Mossy Oak’s Nativ Nursery, and we grafted some of their special hybrid oaks. These oaks have been hand selected by the Nativ Nursery staff for their wildlife benefits such as early or late dropping acorns, or especially heavy masting trees.

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