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Oak Trees and Climate Change

Oaks hybridize easily which may help them adapt to climate change.

Scientists at UC Davis are looking at how global warming will affect native oaks.  Some of this work is described in a Pacific Plant People interview with Emily Griswold, a scientist at UC Davis.  Ms. Griswold helped develop the Shields Oak Grove at the UC Davis Arboretum.   More than 80 kinds of oaks are found in this grove, including a fine collection of oaks native to the western United States and many trees that are rare in cultivation.  The tree pictured above (photo credit: Emily Griswold) is a Quercus gravesii (Chisos red oak), which is from New Mexico but could grow well in Benicia as our coastal climate becomes less so.  The Arboretum’s oak collection is part of the national oak collection through the North American Plant Collections Consortium, marking its significance to the scientific community.  The grove is named for Judge Peter J. Shields, one of the founders of the UC Davis campus.  Click here for a guide to this collection.  Click here to listen to the interview with Ms. Griswold.