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Editor's Picks

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A documentary inspired by a painting of an oak in Israel.
Ezra Barnea | Oct 10, 2020
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Oaks have been featured in several operas. Here is a list...
Roderick Cameron | Oct 09, 2020
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One of the world's leading oak collections is located in...
Francisco Garin Garcia | Oct 01, 2020

Plant Focus

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A guest post by Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants podcast and blog

Shaun Haddock's blog

Oaks in the Architecture

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In the early summer, when the constant battle against weeds had us nearly to the point of insanity, we decided to escape for a couple of days southwards over the Pyrenees via the Somport Pass . . .

Lloyd Kenyon (1947–2019)

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Everyone who knew Lloyd will be as shocked and saddened as I was to learn of his recent death after a short illness.

The Oak Societies

It may surprise you to learn that we are not the first Oak Society! Another Oak Society used to meet at the Crown and Anchor pub on the Strand in London.

Acorn Time Approaches

Abundant rain in southwest France in the early part of this year has fostered a bumper seed crop at Arboretum de la Bergerette, some (such as Quercus emoryi) already ripe: thus my thoughts turn once again to the seed exchange forum I mooted, which is at present under construction – many thanks to those of you who have already contacted me on the subject, confirming that the idea is worth pursuing.

Pollen Poachers

Bees are thieves! It’s official! After my recent note pointing out that bees were seemingly harvesting pollen from a Quercus suber without any commensurate benefit to the tree, serendipitously the latest issue of the magazine The Plantsman contained an article giving a synopsis of research into "bee plants" by the National Botanic Garden of Wales, prompted by the alarming dip in global bee numbers.

Stretching the Rules

An oak which breaks the rules... Do oaks have rules? Well, I think so: the rule of survival of the fittest implies that all unnecessary branch structure is unaffordably costly in resources – the aim of a tree should be to display the maximum leaf area for photosynthesis attached to the minimum possible structure. And the culprit in question? Quercus saltillensis.

A Forum for Garden-Sourced Oak Seed?

It was a mast year in 2017 here in southwest France, spreading acorns so thickly under some trees they formed a solid carpet. So Quercus pubescens is evidently not in danger for now, but what of less plentiful species elsewhere? 

Trees and Shrubs Online Project

Many readers will have seen the reference on the IOS website to the publication online of the 8th edition of W.J. Bean’s Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles under the auspices of the International Dendrology Society (IDS), and many, particularly those who are members of the IDS, will be aware of the publication, with the cooperation of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, of New Trees, which, in effect, brought “Bean” up to date by covering trees introduced to cultivation after Bean’s publication in the 1970s.

The Oaks of Dunkeld

Across the River Tay from Dunkeld, within easy walking distance, are two oaks with connections to the arts.

The Elusive Baloot

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Quercus baloot is a drought-tolerant oak found in the drier valleys not only in Afghanistan, but also in the north of what is now Pakistan and into Kashmir; by and large it evaded introduction to Europe until, more by luck than by judgement, I was able to do so in reasonable number in 1995.

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