Book review: The nature of oaks

Doug Tallamy’s latest book takes the reader on a month by month tour of life in his oak trees. Over 20 years he and his wife Cindy have transformed their 10 acres from hay fields into a rich varied habitat bursting with life and oak trees. The book is eminently readable and illustrated with many colourful photos of such intriguing oak inhabitants such as the spun glass slug and the yellow-vested moth.

Tallamy highlights the importance of oaks of all species in the ecosystem and shares advice on which species to choose for your garden, along with how to plant and care for them. He explains that the oak family –  tree species Quercus – are essential hosts (and the BEST ones) for beneficial caterpillars and insects. Their acorns are food sources for many birds and mammals. Oaks provide nesting and roosting sites for woodpeckers, owls, raccoons and more. This makes an oak a KEYSTONE SPECIES. Oaks are typically long-lived, thus locking up massive amounts of carbon for far longer than short-lived trees which release carbon into the atmosphere when they die. Oaks also play a vital role in stormwater management due to their extensive canopies and root systems.

What’s not to like about an oak tree? Read the book and plant an oak today!!

Submitted by Leslye Glover