"Did the people remember Dr. [Augustine] Henry? Did they know the K'ung-tung (local name of Davidia)? To these and similar questions they pleasantly answered in the affirmative. Would someone guide me to the tree? Certainly!" Recalling E. H. Wilson's search for the dove tree in China in 1899.
Have you seen this?
Since 2015 an extension of the Project Zelkova has been elaborated in order to explore and protect other genera and families of relict trees. The main focus is put on the genus Pterocarya and on the family Juglandaceae.
The genus Pterocarya has six extant species with similar disjunctions as in Zelkova. Many highly isolated populations, especially Pterocarya fraxinifolia, are very threatened and have been never collected and/or investigated.
Project Zelkova addresses five main objectives:
- Basic and applied research on relict, rare and/or threatened woody species (biogeography, conservation biology, phylogeny, phylogeography, population genetics, population structure, dendrochronology, etc.).
- Conservation actions (in situ and ex situ conservation), action plans and conservation status assessments.
- Capacity building (teaching, internships, exchange of students and young scientists, etc.).
- Public awareness and outreach (exhibitions, books, workshops, etc.).
- Iconographic collections (scientific photography, scientific drawings, etc.)
The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library also holds Project Zelkova publications: Wingnuts (Pterocarya) & Walnut Family : Relict Trees : Linking the Past, Present and Future [HOLLIS], and The Red List of Zelkova [HOLLIS]. The library will continue to collect materials dedicated to plant preservation and horticultural science, crucial to our understanding of climate change and its impacts on plant life.