Friday, February 24, 2017

From Acorns to Oaks

What do we see here looking down this plastic tube?

These are acorns collected from the Sunol Valley. For what you ask? We are planting over 150 Oak trees at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project. As a commitment to the environment, the tree plantings are part of our mitigation to restore oak woodland at our project site. We are also committed to re vegetating all areas with annual grassland where oak woodland is not appropriate. 

Among the species being planted are the Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia) and the Blue Oak (Quercus douglassii). Historically, oak trees are slow growing and can take as long as two to three decades before they begin to provide significant shade. Winter is an ideal time to plant to allow the tree to focus on root growth. 

Some oaks can send a tap root down as deep as five feet in the first year of growth. To help the acorns sprout, and to avoid being dug up by squirrels and birds, they are placed in the plastic tubes right into the ground. The tubes also protect them from hungry herbivores –like deer - and provide a great micro climate for the trees to thrive. 

The next photo shows our oak tree plantings in an area we are no longer working in, the left abutment of the dam, located at the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project. 

See you around the Valley!

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