Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Volunteers Found!

Apparently, the local birds and squirrels are looking to take my Coastal Sage Scrub plant community and turn it into a Mixed Evergreen Forest, judging from the number of volunteer oak seedlings that have sprung up in the side yard. I love thinking about the journey this seed took, where it came from, and if this is how oak woodlands are created.


  1. Curious if you pull these volunteers or transplant them elsewhere? As a landscape designer you must have plenty of opportunities to find new homes for these saplings. I recently pulled a bunch from under the redwoods in our yard. It made me sad to get rid of them but they would not have survived long in such a shady, root crowded area. However I wasn't sure how well they would do as transplants either. Just wondering if anyone else had tried this.

  2. I haven't tried, but natives typically have long tap roots to access water deep in the soil. To transplant, start when they're young (about the size of the one in the photo), dig deep around it and try to preserve the roots. Water once and see what happens! Good luck and glad to see the birds and squirrels are so generous in your yard as well!

  3. It's okay to cut the tap roots of oaks. I've done it twice with a success and a failure, pretty much the way you describe. They drop their leaves, but if you keep them from drying out they eventually put out new growth. Cities have been transplanting some really big ones. I tend to think the squirrel-planted oaks are the best, though.