• Development of improved white oak builds on existing white oak genetics research and supports the White Oak Initiative by setting up a research infrastructure to answer a wide variety of white oak genetic variation questions associated with traits that have economic and ecological value. The improvement program will also provide a sustainable supply of high quality white oak genetic material via acorns and seedlings. Knowledge gained and material available from the improvement program will increase our ability to conserve and restore white oaks to achieve a variety of ecological, conservation and economic goals at regional and national levels. To achieve these goals, white oak acorns will be collected from throughout its geographic range, the acorns will be grown in a nursery and outplanted into provenance/progeny tests to evaluate local adaptation, genetic diversity patterns, superiority in a variety of traits, and expression of specific DNA sequences. Additionally, scion material will be collected from some of the parent trees whose acorns were collected and this material will be used to create grafted seed orchards. The seed orchards will provide acorns of improved white oak and they can be used to breed specifically for insect and disease resistance, for traits that will support ecological success in the forest and for traits that will provide increased economic value of wood products.
  • White oak germplasm archived in the progeny tests, grafted seed orchards and clone banks will be available to academic research and industry development projects