Tree Blog

Quercus castaneifolia x cerris | Inland Bay Area

The range of potential variations in oak hybrids is enormous. The comparison with variation between human siblings works well. Our genetic codes include instructions for the making of many different traits, down to a microscopic level. Perhaps a million distinct traits are coded in the DNA. The key point to remember, in human siblings or oak hybrids, is that each of these traits varies, largely independently of the other traits. As a rough analogy, imagine that each of these million traits has a slider bar that shows the contribution of each parent to a particular trait. Each slider is set independently of the other sliders, and all, put together, form a highly unique organism. The potential variations are, literally, infinite. To really enjoy oak genetics you need a taste for chaos and a subtle eye for pattern and detail.

Dave Muffly