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American White Oak, often used for whisky and Bourbon casks, struggles to regenerate

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  • American White Oak, often used for whisky and Bourbon casks, struggles to regenerate

    American white oak, often used for whisky and Bourbon casks, is facing challenges after struggling to regenerate across the eastern US, including Kentucky.
    The issue, which has been identified by The Lane Report, is due to shifting land management practises and changes in forest ecology which has made it difficult for white oak seedlings and saplings to take root and grow into mature trees.

    According to the study, climate change and invasive insects have also played a role in slowing down the oak plantations and has revealed that, without intervention, the American white oak will begin to significantly decline in the next decade.

    Report authors of the study, named the White Oak Initiative, represent a coalition of industries, conservation groups, government agencies and universities that are all working together to preserve the trees and the use of American white oak for biodiversity and business.

    Jeff Stringer, chair of Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky and co-founder of the White Oak Initiative said: “It’s valuable for a number of wildlife species, it’s valuable for economic use and as a big part of our forest component. “It anchors a lot of what is going on in our forests and resources we get off of it.”

    American white oak trees currently grow on over 100 million acres of forest across the eastern and central US, according to an assessment and conservation plan released as part of the White Oak Initiative.

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