Oklahoma Redbud – A New Species Of Trees?
The Oklahoman newspaper reported in its April 1st, 2010 edition that a new species of trees has been discovered growing in the state of Oklahoma. The paper stated that it was not yet known what kind of tree they are or how many there might be. However, scientists have already identified them as two different kinds of trees. One is called “red berry” and the other is called “western red.” The paper went on to say that the discovery could mean that the state’s forests may soon be teeming with new varieties of trees.
According to the report, scientists at Oklahoma State University (OSU) have found two new types of trees growing in Oklahoma. They were able to identify them based on their leaves and seeds.
The first type is called “red berry,” which is a native species from Mexico and Central America, while the second type is called “western red,” which is a variety of the western redbud tree.
Scientists believe that these two new species of trees are likely to become established in Oklahoma because they grow well here and produce fruit that tastes good when eaten. They also have strong resistance to insect pests and diseases, making them ideal for agriculture.
There are currently no plans to establish any more varieties of these trees in the state. The OK State newspaper went on to say that they will be looking for any other types of trees that may have been missed by officials.
What is the purpose of the hoax?
The aim of this hoax was to see if people read past the headline of the news report without actually reading the article itself. It seems that many people were more than willing to do this as the story was shared extensively across social media platforms, with most people not actually reading past the title. It makes you wonder how many other “fake news” stories have people shared on social media in the past.
Who is behind this hoax?
In this instance, the hoax was created by the digital creative agency, Mr Youth, who came up with the idea as a way of highlighting how many fake news stories are circulated on social media without people questioning their authenticity. They created a fake Oklahoma newspaper called The O-Enquirer, complete with a spoof headlines which look like they’ve been ripped out of the Enquirer. The hoax went viral with more than 300,00 shares on social media just two days after it was launched.
How to identify fake news
The news story about the discovery of two new types of trees in Oklahoma is a hoax as there are no genuine reports to suggest that this story is true. The aim of this story was to highlight the dangers of believing everything you read on social media without checking its authenticity.
The key lesson to learn is to always think skeptically and apply critical thinking skills when it comes to news stories you see on social media. The more outrageous a story seems, the more likely it is that it is not authentic.
While it’s good to share links to news stories on social media, it’s equally important to read them as well before sharing them with your friends and followers.
Sources & references used in this article:
Influence of irrigation regime on growth of select field-grown tree species in a semi-arid climate by L Fox, T Montague – Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 2009 – meridian.allenpress.com
Genecology of eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) by HM Donselman, HL Flint – Ecology, 1982 – Wiley Online Library
Influence of irrigation regime on water relations, gas exchange, and growth of two field-grown redbud varieties in a semiarid climate by L Fox, A Bates, T Montague – Journal of Environmental …, 2014 – meridian.allenpress.com
Deciduous trees for Oklahoma by MA Schnelle, PJ Mithcell, DM Maronek – 2003 – shareok.org
Plant Source and Seed Parasitism Influence Seed Viability in Redbud (Cercis spp.) by WE Klingeman, MS Carrington – Journal of Entomological …, 2005 – meridian.allenpress.com
Cercis tree named ‘Greswan’ by K Swanson, D Fountain – US Patent App. 11/894,974, 2009 – Google Patents