Pre-Conference Workshop

Native oaks for native places: planting and protecting ecotype oaks in savannas and woodland remnants

NOTE:  This information will remain on the page for reference.


Native oaks make significant contributions to the stability of savannas and woodlands, but recruitment is often low and many established populations are in decline. Without protection and enhanced regeneration, oak communities and the larger ecosystems in which they live will continue to decline and disappear. Good stewardship of savannas and woodlands includes strategies to support native oaks (and other native trees) where they naturally grow and historically have grown.

Methods and Objectives
This will be a workshop in a true sense: together we will develop strategies for ecotype native oak sapling establishment (seed collecting, germination, planting, and early care) and for protecting existing oaks. Strategies will be based on root/soil ecology, phenology, and tree physiology. Learning methods will include rhizosphere studies with dissection and microscopy on live samples. Enrollment will be kept small to facilitate active learning.

Jack Phillips is a naturalist and registered consulting arborist with New Tree School and teaches on the faculty of Arboriculture Canada Training and Education. He teaches and consults throughout North America and partners with Hitchcock Nature Center in Iowa’s Loess Hills on stewardship education and plant community monitoring. He is a regular contributor to Prairie Fire Newspaper: the Progressive Voice of the Great Plains and is author of The Bur Oak Manifesto published by Prairie Fire Press.

Cost: $40
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 17
Time: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Grand River Conference Center

The cost of the workshop includes light refreshments (coffee, tea, and water; pastries and fruit). We will provide early conference check-in to workshop participants. The workshop will conclude at 11:30 a.m. to provide time for participants to get lunch on their own prior to the beginning of the conference at 1 p.m. Several options for lunch are available near the conference venue.

Workshop Cancellation/Refund Policy: The $40 workshop registration fee is non-refundable. Substitutions can be made at any time by calling CALS Conference Services at 608-263-1672 or email