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Editor's Picks

Emory oak near Young, Arizona © Nanebah Lyndon
Emory oak acorns are a critically important commodity for...
Website Editor | Feb 12, 2021
Ecological Landscape Alliance
Murphy Westwood and Tim Boland presented on oak diversity...
Website Editor | Feb 12, 2021
Keiko Tokunaga's Illustrated Fagaceae
Shaun Haddock reviews Keiko Tokunaga's latest book.
Shaun Haddock | Feb 09, 2021

Plant Focus

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

Conversations with Conservationists

Oaks are in trouble. The recent IUCN Red List Assessment indicates that roughly 41% of all oak species are threatened with extinction. From habitat loss to diseases and invasive species, there is no single factor we can point to that explains the state of oaks across the globe. It is a case of death by a thousand cuts. Needless to say, oaks need our help. However, just as the threats to oaks vary, so too must efforts to conserve them. In the two episodes linked below, Dr. Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants sits down with Dr. Murphy Westwood and Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare of The Morton Arboretum to talk about oak conservation efforts. Dr. Westwood outlines a series of oak-assessment projects as well as the need for ex-situ oak conservation in the form of conservation groves for threatened species. Dr. Alvarez-Clare discusses her work on conserving two species of oak in situ, (Quercus brandegeei and Q. insignis), which involves engaging members of the local communities that depend on them the most. Hopefully, conversations like these will inspire even more oak conservation efforts. After listening, please consider picking up a copy of Matt’s new book, In Defense of Plants: An Exploration into the Wonder of Plants, wherever books are sold. Click on the links below to access the episodes:

Oaks in Trouble: A conversation with Dr. Murphy Westwood

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Community-Based Oak Conservation: A conversation with Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare

Quercus brandeegei
Quercus brandeegei acorns © José Luis León de la Luz and CIBNOR