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White Oak Tree Nursery celebrates 10 years of recovery and a new milestone

white oak
KY Energy and Environment Cabinet Facebook
White Oak seedling

Representatives from the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the University of Kentucky and other partners are gathering in Morgan County today. They’re celebrating 10 years of recovery for the Morgan County Nursery that houses the White Oak Seedling Collection and Study.

Charles Saunders is an environmental control manager for the Kentucky Division of Forestry. He said 10 years ago, a tornado hit the region and did considerable damage to the tree nursery.

“The nursery was right in the middle of that path. We lost seven of the nine buildings at the nursery. It cut a path through the nursery, out their side and over into West Liberty. You can still see the scar on the landscape, just due to the fact that trees in the area where the tornado went through are shorter than the others surrounding it.”

Saunders said they’re also celebrating a large milestone for the facility.

“This is the first time probably the only time in history we’re going to have approximately 34 states represented at the Morgan County Nursery with White Oak in that area. So, it’s a big deal.”

Saunders said they have collected seeds from the area where white oaks grow across the eastern U.S. and planted them in this controlled area to see how they grow. He says white oaks are important to Kentucky because they are the main wood used to make bourbon barrels.

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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