Oak Open Days at Aiken, South Carolina, USA

[You can view Ryan Russell's report on the Aiken Open Days, originally published in Oak News & Notes, Vol. 18, No. 1, here.]

On the first weekend of November 2013 a group of oak enthusiasts congregated in Aiken, South Carolina, for two days of inspiring and informative guided tours. Friday evening we were welcomed by Aiken City Manager Richard Pearce at the Visitors Center in the reconstructed train station, where we enjoyed BBQ dinner to the accompaniment of bluegrass provided by the talented musicians of Palmetto Blue. Over the next few days we took it in turns to explore natural oak habitat in nearby Hitchcock Woods, admire the botanical treasures of beautiful Hopelands Gardens and walk down the Arboretum Trail on Colleton Ave and the two mile-long rare oak plantations with their creator, IOS member Bob McCartney. Great weather, great company, great oaks. A weekend to remember.

Group photo on the first morning at Aiken Visitors Center (Photo: Guy Sternberg)

 

IOS members faced with a taxonomical challenge...

 

Ryan Russell and friend (Quercus laurifolia)

 

One mile of oaks along the railway line

 

Resurrection Fern growing on live oak in Hopelands Gardens

 

Bob McCartney showing us the way (in more ways than one) along Arboretum Trail on Colleton Ave.

 

Araucaria angustifolia grown from seed obtained in Peter Laharrague's arboretum in Argentina (see Oak News & Notes Vol. 17 No.2)

 

Majestic Quercus alba

You can view more photographs here. And you can read a write up of the event published in the Aiken Standard here.

Oak Open Days are events organized by the International Oak Society and open to anyone interested in oaks, members and non-members alike. Many thanks to Bob McCartney for organizing the event and to the City of Aiken for hosting it.

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