The pre-blight Ozark Chinquapin--isolated first by glaciation and then by the Mississippi River from its American chestnut and Alleghany chinquapin relatives--became an important canopy tree in the ancient mesic forest that makes up today's Ozarks.
In its healthy days, the Ozark chinquapin grew on well-drained upland sites and out-produced most other trees in the forest.
Now a Missouri Slate Park naturalist, Bost says that just 10 years ago he didn't know what an Ozark chinquapin was.
Adams, now 91, talked about the chinquapin trees he loved above all others, the sweet nuts that his family harvested, and the wildlife that called the trees home.
Fventually he found a 1907 vegetative map that showed the Ozark chinquapin covering 40 percent of Missouri.