COSAM News Articles 2021 February Arboretum curator directly impacts conservation efforts for extremely rare oaks

Arboretum curator directly impacts conservation efforts for extremely rare oaks

Published: 02/02/2021

By: Maria Gebhardt

“I am proud that the Donald E. Davis Arboretum has increasingly become known for expertise in southeastern native oaks, and being able to produce contributions like this report proves it is warranted,” said Patrick Thompson, special collections curator for the Davis Arboretum, which is nationally accredited for its oaks collection.

Thompson, an outstanding example of an exceptional and engaged staff at Auburn University, collaborated with the Huntsville Botanical Garden to make an impact as seen in the 2020 Tree Gene Collection Report on Quercus boyntonii, known as the Alabama Sandstone Oak or Boynton Oak.  

Thompson is also the Coordinator of the Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance and an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist.

This rare oak, only found in Alabama, needs the highest levels of conservation efforts to save it from extinction.

Thompson was part of a team that collaborated to scout and document current populations, assess and record habitats, and collect acorns for distribution.

His conservation work is directly making a long-term difference to the strength of oak tree collections.

See their journey with daily posts as they explored Oak Mountain State Park including Peavine Falls, Moss Rock Preserve in Jefferson County, Irondale, Autagua County, Blount County, Shackleford Gap, and many more interesting spots in Alabama.  

View the 2020 Gene Conservation Tree Report on Quercus boyntonii online.

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