Earl Cully (1927 - 2017)

Earl Cully

Earl Cully, 90, of Jacksonville, Illinois passed away on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at his home. Earl was a long-time member of the International Oak Society and participated in several of our Conferences. Early in Earl’s life he developed a passion for trees and he was nurtured by several mentors including horticulture professor J.C. McDaniel of the University of Illinois, who shared his knowledge and ability to “see” and evaluate woody plants. Earl mentored many others himself, beginning with teaching Guy 

Quercus ×warei 'Nadler' Kindred Spirit® in Starhill Forest Arboretum

Sternberg how to graft in 1970 and later bringing younger people such as Josh Nadler and Aaron Atwood under his wing. Earl formed a wholesale deciduous seedling nursery in the 1960s. He selected, patented, and trademarked many trees, including his best-known cultivar Heritage® river birch. In the early 1980s, Earl founded Heritage Trees, Inc., a company that selected and introduced cultivars of shade trees to the nursery trade. Earl’s hybrid oak selections include Heritage®, Regal Prince®, and Kindred Spirit®. Earl’s passion for trees and people will leave a growing legacy of superior cultivars for the landscape and nursery industry and a love for trees in the lives of those that he mentored. 

Guy Sternberg