New York Times: Oxford Resident Roots Out the Importance of Your Backyard Oak Tree

Dan Weckerly
Doug Tallamy.

Oxford resident Doug Tallamy, an entomologist and longtime professor at the University of Delaware, highlights the benefits of oak trees in his new book, The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees, writes Margaret Roach for The New York Times.

“There is much going on in your yard that would not be going on if you did not have one or more oak trees gracing your piece of planet earth,” Tallamy wrote in his book.

According to Tallamy, these long-lived trees support more life forms than any other in North America. They provide food and protection for everything from birds to bears, as well as countless insects.

A single oak can produce a whopping three million acorns during its lifetime, which provide plenty of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Meanwhile, it also drops up to 700,000 leaves each year, creating organic “litter” that is often used as a habitat by beneficial organisms. Its canopy and root system are also important in water infiltration.

“They are so important, critically important, in running our ecosystems, and that’s what attracts me,” said Tallamy. “Oaks are not just another plant.”

Read more about Douglas Tallamy in The New York Times.