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Plant Focus

Quercus texana New Madrid acorn
Disentangling the cultivar published as Quercus texana ‘New Madrid’

Bob Berry: Portrait of an Oak Collector

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Roderick Cameron

Published May 2020 in International Oaks No. 31: 101–124

Abstract

Hackfalls Arboretum in New Zealand is the life work of Bob Berry, a farmer who planted trees as a hobby. The Arboretum contains around 3,700 trees, with oaks one of the best represented genera. In his late 60s and 70s Bob undertook a series of collecting trips in Mexico, establishing an extensive collection of oaks of this provenance. He died in August 2018 at the age of 102. This tribute reviews the creation of the oak collection at Hackfalls, with particular emphasis on the Mexican oaks, and looks at the question as to what could have driven a modest farmer from Tiniroto to go to such lengths to build the collection and study the complex taxonomy of Central American Quercus.

Keywords

Hackfalls Arboretum, oak collection, oaks in New Zealand, Mexican oaks, Quercus of Mexico

References

Berry, R., unpublished. Mexican Oaks at Hackfalls Arboretum.

Berry, R. 1999. The Questionable Status of Two Mexican Oaks. Oak News & Notes 3(2): 3.

Berry, R. 2008. A Few Reminiscences of a Tree Planter. The Gardener’s Journal 1: 23-24.

Berry, R. 2011. Hackfalls Arboretum. Word documents on 3 CDs. Supplied by Touchwood Books, Hastings.

Berry, R. 2016. Hackfalls Arboretum, Catalogue of Plant Collection. Privately published.

Cameron, R. 2017. First Time Ex-Situ Reproduction of Quercus insignishttps://www.internationaloaksociety.org/content/first-time-ex-situ-reproduction-quercus-insignis. Accessed Dec. 27, 2019.

Cameron, R. 2019. Rare Mexican Oak Pops Up in Palmerston North. https://www.internationaloaksociety.org/content/rare-mexican-oak-pops-palmerston-north. Accessed Dec. 17, 2019.

Chassé, B. 2011. In the Spotlight: Robert James Berry from Tiniroto, North Island, New Zealand. Oak News & Notes 15(1): 4.

Govaerts, R. and D.G. Frodin. 1998. World checklist and Bibliography of Fagales. London: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Heine, H. 1982. Tour of Mexico. International Dendrology Society Yearbook 1982: 45-51.

Jellyman, A. 2014. Profile of a horticulturist: Bob Berry, creator of Hackfalls Arboretum. New Zealand Garden Journal 17(1): 5-9.

Jellyman, A. 2016. Hackfalls Arboretum. International Dendrology Society Yearbook 2016: 181-188.

Malcouronne, P. 2018. The Man Who Planted Acorns. NZ Gardener September 2018: 55-61.

Murphy, P. 2008. Peter Nikau. Privately published.

Wilkie, M. 2017. Bob and Anne Berry: Great Trees in the Forest. Rhododendron Species 12: 113-136.

Trelease, W. 1924. The American Oaks. Memoirs of the National Academy of Science 20: 1-255.