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Editor's Picks

Karl Georg Theodor Kotschy was an Austrian botanist and...
Eike Jablonski | Jun 11, 2016
Quercus grisea - Greenlee County, AZ
This article is an account of the oak field trip organized...
Charles Snyers | Sep 22, 2017
North American oaks have a northern temperate origin and...
Website Editor | Oct 12, 2017

Plant Focus

Quercus acutissima subsp. kingii
Quercus acutissima Carruth. is a species whose natural distribution covers a vast territory in East and Southeast Asia, from central Nepal...

Roderick Cameron's blog

Variation in Quercus humboldtii Acorns

Quercus humboldtii

On a recent trip to Bogotá, Colombia I was able to collect acorns from several Quercus humboldtii growing as street trees.

A Hybrid with a Twist

This year I harvested acorns in Grigadale Arboretum rather late in the season (April), at a stage when most species had dropped them. As trees are planted quite close together, in some cases I had to distinguish acorns based on their shape in order to collect from a particular tree rather than its neighbor. When it came to Quercus ×kewensis, there was a mass of acorns on the ground, many from several neighboring Q. cerris. I found that I could pick out the Q. ×kewensis because of their odd shape. 

Californian Oaks in Canberra

Last April I briefly visited Canberra, the capital of Australia. I was able to take a day off to look at trees and spent most of it admiring the impressive collections of Australian native flora at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. This was my first trip to Australia and I had been looking forward to the diversity of its endemic trees. But Canberra also offered a quite unexpected treat: several Californian oaks used in well-maintained plantings along residential streets.

Oaks in Dante's Divine Comedy

Over the first hundred days of 2018 I have read Dante’s Divine Comedy, as part of a mass-reading organized on Twitter by Pablo Maurette, an Argentine Literature Professor and author at the University of Chicago. Thousands of readers spread across the globe read one canto per day of the classic poem, and exchanged comments and engaged in debates under the hashtag #Dante2018. Oaks are not absent...

Re-Oaking Silicon Valley

Allan Taylor sent me a link to an article describing efforts to bring back the oaks to Silicon Valley.

Quercus humboldtii in Bogotá

Quercus humboldtii in Bogotá

I spent a weekend in Bogotá in October 2017 and made it my mission to find Quercus humboldtii. I had had the species in my sights for a long time: it is the only oak native to South America, and so the closest non-cultivated oak to my residence in Montevideo, Uruguay (a mere 4,700 km as the crow flies—though it might take a relay of crows to make the trip!).

Garry Oak in a Common Garden

In August 2017, during a visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, I was able to visit an experimental plantation of Garry oak (Quercus garryana) at the University of British Columbia. 

Quercus in Quijote

On the advice of a novelist friend of mine, I have been reading Cervantes' Don Quijote. It was recommended for its literary merit ("Flaubert knew the novel by heart before he learnt to read," my friend told me), but in Chapter XI I came across a passage that appealed more to the quercophile than to the bibliophile. 

Oaks to Commemorate the Battle of Verdun

The Woodland Trust is looking for oak trees that were grown in England from acorns gathered at Verdun when the battle ended. The plan is to collect acorns from these trees and grow a second generation of “Verdun oaks” that will be planted at a centenary wood in Surrey, England.

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