Wildlife relies on its surrounding environment to foster growth and sustain a healthy, thriving population. With the ability to feed, protect, and house a wide and diverse range of species, oak trees support more life-forms than any other tree in North America. As American entomologist, and conservationist Douglas Tallamy once said, “If you only plant one tree, let it be an oak.”
Forrest Keeling is North America’s premier native tree nursery with the capability to produce a wide array of oak tree options. Proudly offering 28 species of oaks, with 5 native hybrids, we’ve used our decades of experience working with native plants to develop a process that has resulted in robust, fast-growing plants. These plants have benefitted countless local ecosystems.
The Ecological Benefits of Native Oak Trees
Oak trees have developed the reputation as a provider among entomologists and ornithologists alike. They’ve been labeled a keystone species, which indicates that not just individual plant, insect, and other animal species – but entire ecosystems – rely on them for survival. As one environmental expert put it, “a yard without oaks is only meeting a fraction of its life-support potential.”
Below the surface, oaks are working just as hard to support a healthy and sustainable planet. They help stabilize soil and even protect groundwater quality. Their ability to store large quantities of carbon dioxide make them one of the most complete contributors to environmental well-being.
Healthier Wildlife from the Roots Up
When considering the ways to help bird populations thrive, factors like conservation, protection from predators, and climate are usually at the top of that list. The importance of preserving food sources necessary for the growth of fledgling birds often gets overlooked. Oak trees are unmatched in their ability to provide for young birds. They also supporting the widest variety of protein-rich insects. Additionally, oaks are an ideal place for adult nesting birds and squirrels to make their homes. One oak tree can provide food for hundreds of different caterpillars, and more than 100 animals feed on the oak’s acorns. Simply put, there’s no better tree in terms of its ability to provide continuous nourishment for local animals.
Forrest Keeling and “Bucks’ Unlimited Oak”
Wildlife doesn’t have the ability to design and curate the perfect trees for their surrounding environment…but we do! Bucks’ Unlimited Oak is a fast-growing swamp white oak selection with nearly double the acorn output of other oaks. Swamp white oak acorns are preferred by white-tailed deer, observational research shows. Another benefit to early flowering and fruiting is that it gives wildlife access to nutritional benefits for a longer period of time.
Eight outstanding swamp white oak specimens were grafted to rootstock and replicated to create 100 trees planted in 2005 in a research project conducted by the University of Missouri-Center for Agroforestry. Of those 100, the trees that produced the greatest yields were allowed to pollinate each other. The result was the strongest, most prolific natural selection, now known as the Bucks’ Unlimited Oak.
Forrest Keeling Nursery has the exclusive agreement with the University of Missouri to produce Bucks’ Unlimited Oak seedlings. As a result, these are produced with their patented Root Production Method (RPM).
Your Experts in Native
Throughout our 75+ years in business, a lot has changed. One thing that hasn’t is our mission of restoring earth’s ecosystems one tree at a time. Our commitment to producing the highest-quality native plants for each one of our residential or commercial nursery customers.
We specialize in native plants and offer over 250 different species of native trees and shrubs, and more than 100 species of native perennials and grasses. Through our patented RPM (root production method), we’re able to ensure plants are stronger and healthier. Additionally, they are also faster-growing than those using traditional methods.
Visit our website to learn more about the history of our business, development of revolutionary growth methods, or to get in touch with a representative today.