Resources and Articles

Use this information to guide your selections

Learn more about Forrest Keeling's superior plants from industry research and articles. Use these resources to guide you in proper plant selection and improved techniques for your projects. We update this list regularly to bring you the most current information and welcome your submissions.

Resources and Links

University of Missouri - Agroforestry

The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA), established in 1998, is one of the world's leading centers contributing to the science underlying agroforestry. Interdisciplinary collaboration is one of the outstanding hallmarks of the Center. Research on the benefits of agroforestry is supported from a broad spectrum of disciplines: forestry, fisheries and wildlife, entomology, plant pathology, agronomy, animal science, horticulture, soils, atmospheric science, agricultural economics and rural sociology. Linked with the Center's solid science and research programs are several key collaborations and partnerships with landowners, natural resource professionals, federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations. Through these critical relationships, UMCA and its partners are producing an expanding list of positive outcomes for landowners, the natural environment and society as a whole.

Living Lands and Water

Riverbottom Forest Restoration Project

Growing with the Flow

RPM Trees offers promise for restoring the mighty oak along the Missouri River and other inland waterways.

Attract whitetail deer and upland birds with mast producing trees and shrubs

Mast-producing trees produce nuts (hard mast) or fruit (soft mast). The major food source for whitetail deer is composed of both types with 70% coming from acorns in fall. In fact, deer feast on the sweet acorns of white oaks (Quercus alba) and similar species to add needed weight for the winter. One particular selection, a collaboration between Forrest Keeling and the University of Missouri, is the Bucks Unlimited™ Oak. This is a premium-quality , fast-growing swamp white oak selection that out-produces acorn production of other oaks by as much as two to one. OR

Through winter, red oaks (Quercus rubra) and their relatives become more important. Red oak acorns are more bitter than the acorns of white oaks and less preferred by deer and other wildlife. But the high fat content of red oak acorns helps deer survive the cold winter in good condition for the spring breeding season.

The primary mast producing trees are oaks, which produce acorns. Secondary mast producing species include soft mass producing trees like persimmons, locusts, osage oranges, pawpaws, and other wild and domestic fruit trees. You can create a low maintenance permanent food plot for deer by planting a diverse mix of mast-producing trees and shrubs that wildlife will actively feed on through the year.

Acorns produce in cycles, so it’s wise to plant a variety of white and red oak species to ensure a consistent mast supply for your deer. Forrest Keeling produces a variety of RPM®-produced oak species as well as other hard mast producing trees favored by deer including chestnuts (Castanea sp.) and hickories (Carya sp.). Hickories tend to be particularly consistent producers in many regions of North America.

Forrest Keeling’s RPM®-produced trees display uniquely aggressive growth and vigorous, well-developed root mass for faster growth and quicker mast production to help your conservation projects succeed. Our top-selling hard mast-producing species include: 

Wetland Sites

  • Swamp white oak, Quercus bicolor
  • Bucks Unlimited™ Oak, Quercus bicolor ‘Bucks Unlimited’
  • Bur oak, Quercus macrocarpa
  • Pin oak, Quercus palustris
  • Pecan, Carya illinoensis
  • Nuttall oak, Quercus texana
  • Overcup oak, Quercus lyrata
  • Swamp chestnut oak, Quercus michauxii
  • Kimberley oak, Quercus X schuettei "Kimberley"
  • Willow oak, Quercus phellos

Upland Sites

  • Red oak, Quercus rubra
  • White oak, Quercus alba
  • Shumard oak, Quercus shumardii
  • Black oak, Quercus velutina
  • Cherrybark oak, Quercus pagodifolia
  • Shingle oak, Quercus imbricaria

Include a variety of Forrest Keeling’s soft mast producing native trees and shrubs to round out your planting.  Some of our favorites are,

  • Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
  • American plum (Prunus americana)
  • Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.)
  • Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
  • Sumac (Rhus sp.)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum sp.)
  • American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus sp.)

A diverse mix of oaks and other mast-producing trees and shrubs arranged as a permanent food plot require little maintenance once established and attract a wide variety of other game, including upland birds like wild turkey.


Sustainable Sites Initiative

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

Download "The Sustainable Sites Initiative Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks - Draft 2008" directly from the site. 

Rainscaping Campaign

The RainScaping Campaign is an environmental partnership of nearly 40 corporations, organizations and agencies to effect improved water quality in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 
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Maryland Stormwater Design Manual

The Maryland Stormwater Design Manual is a  comprehensive guide to improved techniques and resources for stormwater management and improved water quality. Forrest Keeling Nursery carries the Midwestern plants approved by and listed in the Manual for use in stormwater projects.

Native Plant Finder

NATIVE PLANTS ARE THE BOMB when it comes to attracting beautiful butterflies and birds to your yard or community. Planting natives helps restore the health and function of your local ecosystem. But, with so many native woodies and perennials to choose from, creating your list can be overwhelming. 

Not to worry! The website of the National Wildlife Federation,, will help you find the best native plants specifically for your area that attract butterflies and moths and the birds that feed on their caterpillars, based on the scientific research of Dr. Douglas Tallamy.

Did you know that a native oak tree (and Forrest Keeling grows and sells 21 different native oaks!) can support the caterpillars over 500 species of butterflies and moths? Those caterpillars are a critical food source for over 96 percent of the songbirds. For example, a pair of Carolina chickadees requires between 6,000 and 9,000 caterpillars to successfully raise just one brood of young. That’s the power and importance of planting native plants when it comes to supporting wildlife. This tool from the NWS— based on the research of Dr. Doug Tallamy--focuses on butterflies and birds, but other wildlife species also benefit when you plant natives.

No other online resource offers zip code specific lists of native plants ranked by the number of butterflies and moths that use them as caterpillar host plants. Simply go to the website page,, enter your zip code at the top, click 'Find Native Plants' to get a list of the host plants for butterfly and moth caterpillars. 

The plants on the website are ranked by the number of caterpillar species they support, so if you plant these species you are more likely to attract a whole array of different butterfly and moth species. The generated results are broken into two categories: 1) flowers and grasses and 2) trees and shrubs, to help in your planning. You can click on any plant to learn more, like which species of butterflies and moths that use it as a host plant. You can even click "Find Butterflies" to get a list of butterfly and moth species in your area and what host plants their caterpillars use, and then save the plant species you like best to "My List", and bring that list with you to Forrest Keeling's Habitat Headquarters in Elsberry, Missouri. 

Carbon Sequestration and Initiatives

Australia Climate Change

The currently available National Carbon Accounting Toolbox (NCAT) prototype (released in 2005) enables land managers to track greenhouse gas emissions to and removals to and from the atmosphere. The NCAT is derived from Australia’s National Carbon Accounting System (NCAS). Users of the NCAT can estimate changes in emissions resulting from changed land management actions, such as forest establishment and harvesting, soil cultivation, fire management and fertilizer application.

International Projects

Forest Carbon Portal

Launched in 2004, the Ecosystem Marketplace is a leading source of information and market intelligence on environmental markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). An initiative of the non-profit organization Forest Trends, the Ecosystem   Marketplace emerged from the belief that by providing transparent, solid, and trustworthy information on prices, regulation, science, and other market-relevant issues, we can accelerate the development of these ecosystem service markets – helping give value to environmental services that, for too long, have been taken for granted.

Forest Carbon Asia

Forest Carbon Asia is a web-based information, research and networking service that seeks to provide open, up-to-date, objective and insightful information and analysis on the resources, policies, players and issues related to climate change mitigation via forest carbon sequestration and storage across the Asian region.

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Center for Int'l Forestry Research

The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human well being, environmental conservation and equity.

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Monteverde Conservation League

Monteverdi Conservation League U.S – Supports the work being done in Monteverdi, Costa Rica which owns and maintains 54,000 acres of the Children's Eternal Rainforest.

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General Information


The UN initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation currently has 36 partner countries.  REDD+ looks at; conservation, sustainable management, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.  Could be a $30 billion a year program.

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Winrock Int'l

Global influence in analysis and partnerships for projects directed towards forestry, energy, and ecosystems.

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World Bank

Made up of the Int'l Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Int'l Development Association.  Provides low interest loads, interest-free credits, and grants for investments to improve health, education, and environment.

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USAID Archived Reports

Archived collection of reports generated by USAID, its contractors, and its partners. These reports describe projects and other USAID natural resource activities.

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USAID is an independent government agency that gets direction from the Secretary of State. The area of interest is their support and partnership for improving the environment USAID has a focus on developing country climate change issues and funds approved efforts globally.

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U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service is actively involved globally and all areas of interest can be reviewed here. Also go to

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CIA Int'l Details by Country

Good source for relatively up to date summary and detailed information by country with respect to the economy and ecological issues.

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