Oak Open Days at Trompenburg Arboretum

Originally published in Oak News & Notes, Vol. 19, No. 1

Participants in the Oak Open Day at Trompenburg Tuinen & Arboretum. Photo: Sophie Kling

IOS Board member Gert Fortgens welcomed around 30 participants to a most enjoyable two-day ‘Oak Open Days’ event at Trompenburg Arboretum in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on August 28 and 29, 2014.

Both days consisted of a well-balanced mixture of lectures or forums with time spent outdoors in the arboretum. After registration Gert gave a talk on the arboretum and its oaks, planted largely since the latter 1930s by staunch IOS member the late Dick Van Hoey Smith on the bones of an 1820s garden on which his father had commenced planting at the beginning of the 20th century. We were delighted that Dick’s wife Riet was able to join us for drinks in the evening. Many plants raised in the garden have since become widely known and propagated, such as Quercus Pondaim Group van Hoey Smith and Q. ‘Macon van Hoey Smith. Both the high water table in the garden and the

Professor Fuh-Jiunn Pan delivering a presentation on distribution of Fagaceae in Taiwan. Photo: Gert Fortgens

climate seem to suit the many oaks which have attained large size here, even those such as Q. alba L. which are not supposed to thrive in northern Europe; also to my surprise we saw sizeable specimens of the evergreen Japanese Q. acuta Thunb., which survives the winters here, and a Himalayan Q. oxyodon Miq. which has endured since 2008.

A forum on oak grafting added to the discussions of last year’s OOD at Dirk Benoit’s Pavia Nursery. On the second day Jeroen Braakman made a presentation on two subjects: ‘Hybrid Oaks’ and ‘Oaks on the Internet’ (Jeroen facilitates an oak page on Facebook). A blog by Jeroen giving fuller coverage of this event can be found here. After further time outdoors we were honoured to be given illustrated lectures by two participants from Taiwan, Professor Fuh-Jiunn Pan and Dr. Li-Ping Ju, the former on the Fagaceae of Taiwan, the latter on the rare (non-oak!) Fagus hayatae Palib. ex Hayata, of which she generously provided seed. We then saw a fascinating exhibition of the variation displayed by oak wood, and we were each given a specimen of 4,000-year-old ‘bog oak’ (resurrected after being perfectly preserved in peat). The day was concluded by a plant sale and acorn exchange.

Our warm thanks go to Gert and all his team for organising such an excellent event.

Photo shoot for Quercus ×libanerris 'Rotterdam' acorn. Photo: Gert Fortgens Group photo with Mrs. Riet van Hoey Smith. Photo: Gert Fortgens
Exhibition by the Dutch Wood Collectors Society of samples of a wide variety of oak wood. Photo: Gert Fortgens Dirk Benoit making notes for the report on the Trompenburg OOD for the IOS Journal (see International Oaks No. 26). Photo: Gert Fortgens
Samples of oaks on display, contribution by Dirk Benoit. Photo: Gert Fortgens For the acorn exchange, Lithocarpus konishii, wild collected in Taiwan, contribution by prof. Pan and dr. Li-Ping Ju. Photo: Gert Fortgens

Click on images to enlarge.