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Carlos collecting Quercus ×alentejana (Q. faginea × Q. pyrenaica) in northeastern Portugal for his PhD thesis © Carlos Vila-Viçosa
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Quercus crassipes acorns with inrolled cupule margin
One of the more well-known Mexican oaks in cultivation.

Oak Savanna Restoration in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA

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Mark Krautmann

Published May 2023 in International Oaks No. 34: 91–98

Abstract

In Oregon, an estimated 3% of the original Quercus garryana savanna remains seven generations after pioneer settlement. Consequently, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), non-profit wildlife organizations, and Oregon state agencies and policy makers have put oak habitat, especially oak savanna restoration, among their highest priorities. “Oak savanna” is commonly defined as an area of large, open-growing oaks at a density of 4-5 trees per acre.

Twenty-one years ago, Jolly Krautmann and I purchased a 400-acre farm that had an 85-acre oak savanna along the farm hillsides. Long neglected, it had become infested with many kinds of tall invasive weeds and vines.

This paper summarizes specific measures that we have tried in oak savanna restoration. Despite initial failures, we feel we’ve succeeded in establishment of a stand of predominantly (65-85%) native grasses and wildflowers among the scattered open-growing oaks.

Herein, we aim to offer insight and inspire others to engage in oak savanna restoration.

Keywords

Quercus garryana, invasive species, site preparation, seeding methods