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Carlos collecting Quercus ×alentejana (Q. faginea × Q. pyrenaica) in northeastern Portugal for his PhD thesis © Carlos Vila-Viçosa
An interview with Portuguese oak conservationist Dr. Carlos...
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It was a great pleasure for me to be able to write about my...
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Plant Focus

Quercus crassipes acorns with inrolled cupule margin
One of the more well-known Mexican oaks in cultivation.

7th International Oak Society Conference - Bordeaux, France - Sep. 29 to Oct. 2, 2012

Conference participants in front of the entrance to the Espace Agora du Haut Carré, Université de Bordeaux.


In collaboration with INRA and the University of Bordeaux, the 7th International Oak Society Conference, attended by 90 participants from 17 countries, included 21 presentations, two field trips (INRA, Pierroton and the Tonnellerie Nadalié) and a gala dinner in the magnificent Château Carbonnieux. The subjects covered ranged from oak phylogenomics to the importance of botanic collections and from the ecology and history of different European forests to the historical and present-day uses of oak.

The Pre- and Post-Conference Tours (respectively, with 31 and 51 participants) were both highly appreciated for the mix of natural oak sites (Forêt de Bercé, the riparian forest of La Leyre, the Réserve Naturelle du Courant d’Huchet and the Forêt Communale de Sare) and botanic oak collections visited. Of these, le Jardin des Plantes, l’Arboretum de Chevreloup and L’Arboretum National Les Barres, gave the participants occasion to plunge into the history of oak collections in France, represented by majestic specimens planted as much as 150 years ago. The younger collections (started 30 to 10 years ago) such as l’Arboretum de Chocha, the Jardín Botánico de Iturraran, l’Arboretum de la Bergerette and l’Arboretum des Pouyouleix afforded our visitors the opportunity to measure the incredible number of Quercus introductions of the recent past as well as a chance to compare, between collections, the different behavior of these new species planted in very different conditions.

In the 1870’s when Georges Fabre demonstrated that the silting up of the port of the city of Bordeaux was due to the deforestation of the Mont Aigoual, nearly five hundred kilometers to the east, he obtained the necessary financial support to start the first-ever massive reforestation program: 16000 hectares were planted and the city’s port (and industry) saved. If not for people interested in trees, what would the city of Bordeaux have become? The International Oak Society is indebted to Georges Fabre and the countless tree enthusiasts that have come before us!

The next triennial conference, in 2015, will be in the United States and hosted by the Morton Arboretum (Illinois). We look forward to seeing you all in 2015 to celebrate our interest in this genus through the exchange of knowledge and experience, new ideas and great adventures to come. In the Related Content below, you will find four photo galleries that tell part of the story of this now past great adventure.

Béatrice Chassé