October 2015: OAKtober

October 2015:



“Whereas, Oak Awareness Month is an opportunity for government to join forces with business, industry, conservation groups, recreational groups, community organizations and citizens to take action to support our native oak ecosystem.”
~Excerpt from State of Illinois Executive Department Proclamation, August 20, 2015, Bruce Rauner
See the full text of the proclamation here.


This month is officially designated OAKtober, Oak Awareness Month, in Illinois! Governor Bruce Rauner and Secretary of State Jesse White signed the proclamation August 20, 2015. Events will be held across the state to celebrate oaks and raise awareness of the conservation efforts that are necessary to sustain these beautiful giants’ place in our landscapes. As the host of the International Oak Society Conference and steward of a world-renowned oak collection, The Morton Arboretum is hard at work promoting and furthering the conservation of oak trees around the world. Throughout the month, we will be hosting oak-related events as well as promoting community action in planting and protecting oak trees. Read on to see how you and your community can participate in the first annual OAKtober: Oak Awareness Month!

At the Arboretum

  • The Eighth International Oak Society Conference - October 18-21 - This annual conference brings together the world’s leading oak researchers for workshops, poster presentations, and discussions on oak conservation.
  • Oaks Uncorked - October 6 - Enjoy a selection of oak-aged wines while tree conservation specialist Murphy Westwood regales the group with stories and information about our iconic oak trees.
  • Painting Oaks - October 16 - Visitors with a little watercolor experience can join visiting artist Wendy Brockman at the Thornhill Education Center to paint oaks in watercolor and guache using specimens from the Arboretum’s own oak collections.
  • Photographing Trees: Oaks, Maples, and More - October 22, 24, 29 - Get your cameras ready! “Take artistic advantage of the challenges and opportunities the brilliant colors of the autumn canopy present, and learn to capture different fall tree structures and features accurately in your photographs.”

In your community

In the world

  • BGCI Red List of Oaks - Botanic Garden Conservation International works to support organizations like the Arboretum worldwide. This publication identifies oaks that are endangered or in danger of extinction, and is currently
  • International Oak Society - check out the homepage of this society focused on oaks for events, photo galleries, articles, book reviews, the Oak Names Database, and more.


Library resources

Field Guide to the Native Oak Species of Eastern North America by John D. Stein, 2003
The natural history of the oak tree : an intricate visual exploration of the oak and its environment by Richard Lewington, 1993
Oak: The Frame of Civilization by William Bryant Logan, 2005
Oak by Peter Young, 2013
The Life of an Oak by Glenn Keator, 1998
Regenerating Oaks in Upland Hardwood Forests, Proceedings of the 1979 John S. Wright Forestry Conference edited by Harvey A. Holt and Burnell C. Fischer, 1979
The Biography of a Tree by James P. Jackson, 1979
The American Oaks by William Trelease, 1924

Reader's advisory

If you are interested in tree conservation efforts check out our collections on conservation of natural landscapes or our collections on forestry and urban forestry.