Scouting trip for OOD

I recently went on a scouting trip to Mississippi to plan for an upcoming Oak Open Day. I had been there two years earlier and that is when I got the idea for a tour. I met my good friend Dudley Phelps, who runs Mossy Oak’s Nativ Nursery, and we grafted some of their special hybrid oaks. These oaks have been hand selected by the Nativ Nursery staff for their wildlife benefits such as early or late dropping acorns, or especially heavy masting trees. A tornado three years ago, which leveled a couple of these unique trees, started Dudley thinking that they needed duplicates of these trees so their genetics would not be lost. I was shown several of these parent trees, many of which are quite large, and I thought that IOS members would like to see them as well. Many of these trees are located on private lands, so organizing a tour of all of them is tough. Not everyone understands why people want to come and stare at trees. Also, many of these properties are used strictly for hunting purposes, so spring and fall are off limits. Still, they are too great to pass up, and most people will not be able to see this diversity in their lifetime, so that’s why we decided upon an OOD in MS in June. Working with the owner of Mossy Oak, Toxey Haas, we have been able to plan out routes that will bring participants up close with many of these great trees. I hope to see you there. 

Quercus phellos

 

Quercus falcata × phellos

 

Quercus nigra

 

Quercus ×ludoviciana

 

Purple new growth on Quercus nigra

 

Quercus palustris × nigra