Kentucky Division of Forestry to Host White Oak Restoration Tour

Morgan County Tree Nursery site of 10-year celebration to restore Kentucky’s White Oaks

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2022) – Join the Kentucky Division of Forestry and its partners September 26, 2022, 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. 

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, US Forest Service, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Maker’s Mark, the Forest Health Research and Education Center, and the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky, all essential players in the program, will be on hand for the tour. 

What:White Oak Seedling Collection and Study Tour
When:Monday, September 26, 2022
10 a.m. Eastern time
Where:Morgan County Tree Nursery
326 Tree Nursery Road
West Liberty, Kentucky
Agenda: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 the event, email Bridget.Abernathy@ky.gov.

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