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White Oak, Whiskey, and Wildlife

Season 4 | Episode 10 | Dec. 6, 2023

If you’re a whiskey enthusiast, you are probably aware of a lesser-known federal law that requires all bourbon (an American whiskey) to be aged in a “charred new oak container.” And those containers or casks are made almost exclusively from white oak (Quercus alba). But white oak has been popular long before the recent rise in whiskey-sipping Gen Xers! It is simply hard to overstate the importance of this tree species to forest products, wildlife habitat, and ecosystem services. In fact, stakeholders from across eastern North America have joined forces to promote the long-term sustainability of white oak forests through the White Oak Initiative. In this episode of SilviCast, we talk​ with one of the White Oak Initiative founders, Dr. Jeff Stringer, chair of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky, about this critical tree species and the efforts to sustain it. ​




Dr. Jeff Stringer

Professor and Chair, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky

Dr. Stringer specializes in hardwood silviculture, forest operations, and best management practices. His work includes research in his areas of specialization and the development of continuing education programs for forest owners and forestry and natural resource professionals. He is director of the Kentucky Master Logger Program and editor of the Kentucky LogJam Newsletter. He is also the managing editor of the Kentucky Woodlands Magazine.  

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