Discussion Questions for The Nature of Oaks

This Spring as trees put on a show by bursting with bright foliage, the USFWS Library is reading The Nature of Oaks: The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees by Douglas Tallamy. Oaks are some of the most ecologically and economically significant trees in the world. We hope you join us on Thursday, May 16th 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET for our online book discussion and share your thoughts on a few of the following questions: 

The Nature of Oaks Discussion Questions
  1. The Nature of Oaks is a meticulous field guide for oak trees infused with storytelling, unlike many of our previous Wild Read selections. How did you like the change of pace and style?

  2. The chapters, or months, in The Nature of Oaks beautifully guide us through cyclical seasons of Quercus. Which month stood out to you in particular?  Why?  

  3. In his book, Tallamy introduces the reader to many amazing features of oaks like leaf marcescence, masting, not to mention the many symbiotic relationships. What was your favorite example? Have you observed any of these yourself? 

  4. Plants in general are quite miraculous, supporting all life on earth. In the chapter titled January, Tallamy discussed the critical linkage of plants and insects, and the ecological significance of insect declines. How can we increase awareness around this issue?  

  5. This book was just as much about insects as it was about oak trees, with Tallamy’s background as an entomologist. The June chapter included cicadas. This year, both 17- and 13-year cicadas will emerge. Do you, like Tallamy, observe the biodiversity of your back yard? 

Brought to you by the USFWS Library, America's Wild Read is a virtual book club where we aim to inspire you to engage with conservation literature and nature writing. We hope you will read along with us as we feature various conservation books every quarter — contemporary, traditional, new, and classic.

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