Friends of the Arboretum Lecture

Sponsored by Alan MacIntyre

"A Virtual Tour of the Oak Genus"
Guy Sternberg, Starhill Forest Arboretum, Petersburg, Illinois

  • Sunday, December 10, 2006 – 1:00 pm2:30 pm

There are perhaps 500 or more oak species on Earth – no one knows exactly. Many of them are found in remote, fascinating parts of the world, and many of these cannot be seen in cultivation outside their native habitats. Studying them must be done on their terms, in their homelands. Join International Oak Society past president Guy Sternberg for a travelogue of oak excursions to Central America, Mexico, eastern and western Europe, and eastern and western Asia.

Guy Sternberg served on staff of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for 32 years, receiving the Honor Award for outstanding service, and was granted an honorary adjunct research appointment to the Illinois State Museum Botany Department. Guy is a charter life member and past chapter president of the Illinois Native Plant Society. He holds life memberships in the International Society of Arboriculture (from which he received a Special Recognition Award for his work with historic trees), the International Dendrology Society, and American Forests. Guy also is a founding life member, past president, and journal editor for the International Oak Society, with members from more than 35 nations on six continents, and received their Lifetime Service Award in 2003.

Guy has cultivated and studied trees since 1952 and now holds one of the most extensive oak genus (Quercus) living reference collections in North America at Starhill Forest, his research arboretum, where he and his wife Edie also grow more than 500 taxa of other woody plants. Starhill Forest is described in the American Association of Museums Directory, the American Horticultural Society's North American Horticulture Reference Guide, and Jacobs' Gardens of North America and Hawaii, and was featured in the 1994 educational film The Greenday Kids Learn About Trees. Guy has nominated more state tree champions than anyone else in Illinois (plus a few national champions) and works with the National Famous and Historic Tree Program and the Champion Trees Project to promote awareness and appreciation of special and historic trees. He has consulted on tree management for the Illinois Office of the Attorney General, the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Department of Military Affairs, the Illinois Capital Development Board, the Illinois Supreme Court, and the National Park Service. He has traveled widely studying trees and their habitats, and participated in educational exchanges with the national dendrology societies of Germany and Belgium, the TEMA Foundation of Turkey, the Kunming Institute of Botany in China, and arboreta throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America.

He lectures occasionally for the Chicago Botanic Garden, Iowa State University, and other institutions, and does public service work for the Illinois Capital City of Springfield as the tree consultant and propagator for a special tree nursery serving Oak Ridge Cemetery, the setting of President Abraham Lincoln's Tomb. This project has been registered as a National Living Memorial Site by the US Forest Service.

Guy has provided papers and photographs for American Nurseryman, Arborist News, Tree Care Industry, American Homestyle and Gardening, Wildflower, Midwest Living, Garden Gate, American Horticulturist, Oak News and Notes, Weedpatch Gazette, American Gardener, Fine Gardening, Country Woman, Old House Journal, Organic Gardening, and Chicagoland Gardening, He has published scientific papers in International Oaks (the journal of the International Oak Society), the International Plant Propagators Society Proceedings, the New York State Museum Bulletin, and the French Bulletin de l' Association des Parcs Botaniques, and served as English version editor for the Chinese Seed Plants of the Big Bend Gorge of Yalu Tsangpo in Southeast Tibet by Hang and Zhou. He also performs technical reviews for the National Arbor Day Foundation's Library of Trees series, and supplied botanical photographs for the US Forest Service Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America and for several educational posters and web pages by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

He is the principal author (with Jim Wilson of The Victory Garden Public Television series) and photographer for Landscaping with Native Trees, a reference book for natural landscape management. He prepared a comprehensive, 550-page sequel to that volume titled Native Trees for North American Landscapes, released in January 2004, which already has won national awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation and the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. Guy was a contributor to the World List of Threatened Trees project of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, England (funded by the Government of the Netherlands) and served as a taxonomic reviewer for Quercus in Flora of North America. He is under contract with Timber Press as lead author, editor, and photographer for a comprehensive worldwide reference book on the oak genus Quercus, and is a contributing author and volume editor for the World Compendium of Oaks under development in Düsseldorf (being published in German by the Langeneicker Eichen Archiv). Guy also has been a contributor for several volumes in Houghton-Mifflin's Taylor's Guide garden encyclopedia series, including the monumental Taylor's Master Guide to Gardening, and for Taunton Press, Ortho, Timber Press, Reader's Digest, Houghton-Mifflin, Meredith, Better Homes and Gardens, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden horticulture books.

Advance registration is not available.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 515-3132 for more information about this event.