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Plant Focus

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

Origin of Quercus look at Bartlett Tree

Q. look
Quercus look at The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum © Greg Paige

An exchange of emails in April this year discussed the origin of specimens of Quercus look in cultivation in the US. As our most recent Species Spotlight by Ori Fragman-Sapir focuses on this oak, I thought it would be interesting to share the findings of the discussion.

The conversation was sparked by Bob McCartney, who referred to the article in International Oaks No. 28 by the late Michael Avishai, where mention is made of a specimen of Q. look growing in The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum. The plant was obtained at Bob’s Woodlanders, Inc. (South Carolina), but information as to the origin of the plant was not available. Bob indicated that he would have obtained the seed from Guy Sternberg and asked if further details could be provided. Béatrice Chassé and Eike Jablonski also joined the conversation and between them provided considerable detail. Here is a summary of the probable story:

In 2000, Eike collected seed with Michael Avishai on Mount Hermon and brought back about 40 acorns. A third of these went to Michael Decalut (Arboretum Waasland), a third to Jo Bömer, and a third Eike kept himself. It is possible that Michel Decalut gave some acorns to Guy Sternberg, who then distributed them to Bob McCartney, or that Jo Bömer shared some at the seed exchange at the IOS Conference in North Carolina in 2000. In any case, it is probable that this was the source of the plants offered by Woodlanders, Inc. in 2002, one of which grows in The Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum.

Further detail on subsequent introductions can be found in International Oaks No. 28, pp. 83-6.