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Kentucky Forestry to Host White Oak Restoration Tour
Kentucky Ag Connection - 09/23/2022

Join the Kentucky Division of Forestry and its partners Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. Eastern time to celebrate the 10-year recovery of the Morgan County Nursery (MCN) and the unique White Oak Seedling Collection and Study, the largest white oak genetic improvement study in the eastern United States. MCN is located at 326 Tree Nursery Lane, West Liberty.

Dr. Laura DeWald, geneticist and White Oak Genetic Program coordinator with the University of Kentucky's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources will lead a tour of the study site.

Representatives with the Kentucky Division of Forestry, USDA Forest Service, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Maker's Mark, the Forest Health and Research Center, and the Beam Institute, all essential players in the program, will be on hand for the tour.

The agenda will include a tour of the study site, an explanation of the program and restoration process, involvement of numerous partners, and the broad benefits and impacts of this initiative.

The program involves the collection of white oak acorns from across the geographic range where the species naturally occurs, documenting the location of the parent trees. Acorns have been collected from 34 states in the eastern U.S. with the first acorns planted at MCN in October 2019.

The extensive, impactful study to conserve and restore the nation's white oaks began in 2016 with grant funding from the USDA Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration Program, and support from the Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits and the White Oak Initiative.

More information on the White Oak Genetic Program can be found at https://white-oak-genetics.ca.uky.edu/. For questions regarding Monday's event, email Bridget.Abernathy@ky.gov.


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