Since 2010, Hobbs State Park has been working closely with the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation in the effort to save a “keystone” tree, the Ozark chinquapin.
For years we at Hobbs State Park sent what seed we could find to the OCF. Hobbs State Park was then the first to be successful in cross pollinating an Ozark chinquapin tree at Hobbs State Park with pollen from trees from Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas. The next step was to establish an Ozark chinquapin test plot at Hobbs state Park. The first plantings were done at Hobbs in April of 2014.
One of the keys to saving this tree is to find single-trunked, seed producing Ozark chinquapins. We ask the public to help us in this effort. If you think you know of a healthy, single-trunked Ozark chinquapin tree, we ask that you share that information.
Another key to saving the Ozark chinquapin is through important leaf research that the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation recently began at the laboratories of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Yesterday, June 25th, I contacted Leslie Bost who is conducting the research. When I asked how the research was progressing, she replied, “I am indeed finding very some significant findings. We have some special resistant trees on our plots. Our most resistant tree is one we originally thought was low resistance.”
This exciting research identifies in a few days which trees are the most blight resistant. Culling trees from our test plots that show the least resistance to the blight, and leaving the ones with the highest resistance, saves years in producing blight resistant seed that can be successfully reintroduced into the native range of the Ozark chinquapin.
To be successful, we need more individuals knowledgeable of the Ozark chinquapin, what it meant to our wildlife before the chestnut blight hit our area in 1957, and what the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation and state parks in Arkansas and Missouri are doing to help save this tree. Let’s talk more about this tree.
- If you know of a healthy, single-trunked Ozark chinquapin tree, please share that information with:
- Steve Chyrchel, Interpreter at Hobbs, and a board member – Ozark Chinquapin Foundation
- Hobbs State Park
- 20201 E. Hwy. 12
- Rogers, Arkansas 72756
- Please take some time to learn more about the Ozark chinquapin tree. The Ozark Chinquapin Foundation has an in-depth web site. Check out all the links at the top of the page.