International Oak Symposium
October 7-10, 2024 – Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

The University of Tennessee’s School of Natural Resources is proud to host an International Oak Symposium in 2024 to provide a platform to exchange information and build collaborations around the best available science and technology on oak ecology and management for a global audience. The meeting will provide innovative and progressive formats to deliver and exchange information and foster collaborations between researchers and practitioners. Field trip(s) will be offered that showcase multi-disciplinary research of the USDA Forest Service and other partners.

Two people standing in field of oak seedlings
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

The overall goal of this symposium is to cultivate and promote synergy among natural resource managers and researchers working towards practical applications to sustain or restore oak ecosystems around the world. The symposium will address the most current issues and complexities related to science-based management of oak species and forests at global, regional, and local scales. The four-day program seeks to engage a diverse audience of managers and scientists in a forum that fosters innovation in silviculture and management for sustainability of oak forests.

Our specific objectives are to provide platforms, products, and opportunities for:

  1. technology transfer and dialogue between researchers and managers 
  2. scientific exchanges among researchers
  3. fostering collaborations between managers and researchers
  4. production of peer-reviewed research papers
  5. Contribute towards professional development of students and early-career scientists
Mature white oak grows under partly cloudy sky.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

Oak (Quercus) trees and forests have provided a myriad of wood resources and ecosystem services for millennia. Oaks are considered a keystone species in many regions of the world but are increasingly threatened by deforestation, nonnative invasive pests and pathogens, climate change, altered disturbance regimes, and gaps in critical knowledge for silviculture and management. Despite commonalities of these threats across many oak ecosystems around the globe, general applications of solutions are often elusive and difficult to develop. Rural and urban communities will continue to lose vital ecosystem services and values provided by oak trees and forests without further development and application of practical science-based silviculture and management at stand and landscape levels. 

Substantial progress has been made in research and science delivery for oak ecology, silviculture, and management since the mid-20th century. International meetings have been hosted and sponsored in part by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) Research Groups or Working Parties, particularly Unit 1.01.06, Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks: In 2000, the “IUFRO International conference ‘Oak 2000 – improvement of wood quality and genetic diversity of oaks‘” was held in Zagreb, Croatia.Several regional symposia have been held in the Central Hardwood Region of eastern North America to synthesize the state of the knowledge and provide opportunities for exchanges among researchers and practitioners: A 1992 symposium, “Oak Regeneration: Serious Problems, Practical Recommendations” was held in Knoxville, Tennessee; In 2002, “Upland Oak Ecology Symposium: History, Current Conditions, and Sustainability” was held in Fayetteville, Arkansas; “Oak symposium: sustaining oak forests in the 21st century through science-based management” was held in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2017. A series of western regional meetings have been held as part of the California Oak Symposium, from 1979 to 2022 focusing primarily on oak conservation in northern and southern California.

Coming soon in October 2023!

Group of people stand in tree stand.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

Conference Co-Chairs:

Stacy L. Clark, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA);

Callie Schweitzer, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Huntsville, Alabama (USA);

Program Committee:

David Buckley, School of Natural Resources, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA); 

Dan Dey, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Columbia, Missouri (USA);

Emile Gardiner, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Stoneville, Mississippi (USA);

Yana Valachovic, University of California Cooperative Extension, Eureka, California (USA);

Magnus Löf, Head of Department & Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre, Lomma (Sweden)

The agenda will be updated as the Symposium program is being developed.

Monday, October 7, 2024 – Plenary Session

Tuesday, October 8, 2024 – Concurrent Sessions, Round Table Discussions

Wednesday, October 9, 2024 – Concurrent Sessions, Panel Discussions

Thursday, October 10, 2024 – Field trip (TBA)

Woman smiles while digging in hole.
Credit: Mark Miller, USDA Forest Service

Information on hotels, parking, and symposium location is subject to change.

The closest airport to the Symposium is the Knoxville McGee-Tyson Airport (Airport code TYS), which is approximately 14 miles (26 kilometers) from downtown Knoxville. 

The Symposium will be held at the Hilton Knoxville (501 W Church Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902) in the heart of downtown. The Hilton will start taking reservations October 5, 2023 (use group name ‘Oak Symposium’. 

Parking is available at the Hilton Hotel for a discounted fee for registrants.

Seedlings emerging from white oak acorns.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service

The Conference Planning Committee thanks the following sponsors!

Logo for School of Natural Resources
USDA and U.S. Forest Service logos

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2024 Oak Symposium, please contact Dr. Don Hodges, Director, at or 865-974-2706.

Oak tree grows under blue sky.
Credit: Stacy L. Clark, USDA Forest Service