The Ozark Chinquapin Foundation (OCF) is a volunteer driven, 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Ozark chinquapin. The organization was founded by Steve Bost in 2007, with a vision to restore the species back to its native range.
Through our breeding program we are utilizing the natural genetic resistance found in rare Ozark chinquapin to develop trees with enough blight resistance and genetic diversity to be able to reproduce and thrive on their own in our forests and woodlands. For over ten years we have traveled across the native range of the trees to find blight resistant/resisting trees. Those rare resistant trees are moved into our breeding program, located at 12 research plots, where we manually cross pollinate them to produce genetically improved seedlings with resistance to the chestnut blight.
We have hundreds of trees on our research plots in 3 states and have mailed tens of thousands of seeds with levels of resistance to chestnut blight to OCF members every year. Recent studies confirm we have been able to develop highly resistant Ozark chinquapin.
Our recovery action plan involves :
- Locating surviving blight resistant trees
- Preserving genetics through cross-pollination and trans-locating seed within native range to ensure genetic diversity
- Utilizing science in genetics and hypovirulence
- Raising public awareness through education and promote OC restoration through local and state cooperators
- OCF members volunteering hundreds of hours in field work and research
- Establishment of a tree database and several test farms
- Making seed available to the public for reintroduction
The Ozark chinquapin produces a large crop of sweet nuts each year and is a valuable food source for deer, turkey, bear, & squirrels.
Photos from trail cameras at our research plot in Missouri