Restoration of oak woodland and native bunchgrass prairie in California’s central coast

17 09 2022

The latest efforts here at Sudden Oak Life have involved the restoration of about 20 acres of oak woodland and native prairie habitat in the Central Coast. I have pulled together a strong team of workers who are well trained in the principles and practices of fire mimicry.

On one particular hillside young coast live oaks have been invading an adjacent prairie of native bunchgrasses dominated by California fescue. Coastal prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems in California due to fire suppression and conversion to agricultural uses. In places, the oak trees have shaded out and all but replaced the native prairie species. Our work here focused on removing many of the woody shrubs and young oaks along the prairie margin, and thinning and pruning oaks in nearby woodlands that still support substantial bunchgrass cover. Efforts were made to preserved many of the native understory species including toyon, currant, sage, and mountain mahogany. All the removed oaks were less than 6″ in diameter, per county regulations.

Young coast live oak invading native bunchgrass prairie, marked for removal
Another young coast live oak invading native bunchgrass prairie, marked for removal
Remnant of bunchgrass prairie amidst an oak woodland
Pruning of the oak canopy to allow in more light will help sustain native prairie species in the understory
This fire-scarred dead limb indicates the past occurrence of fire on the site, which may account the the continued presence of the native prairie in this area.

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: