Coastal oak woodland, montane hardwood; 25 to 39 percent canopy cover
Oak Cover/Forestry Assessment:
Oak volume ranges from 250 to 850 cubic feet per acre, with a ten year growth of 50 to 100 cubic feet per acre. Rapid regrowth of stump sprouts and fairly high growth potential of live oaks would allow some commercial harvest to take place. Harvest levels of 85 to 250 cubic feet per acre every 20 years are possible on areas with less than 30 percent slope. It is important to ensure that regeneration from seedlings or stump sprouts is adequate to replace trees being harvested.
These areas provide good overall habitat for deer, wild pigs and California quail. Habitat can be improved by enhancing acorn production, planting clover and other legumes and maintaining these through proper livestock and deer management, and enhancing shrub cover. Some selective thinning of dense stands may improve habitat for some game species, although leaving some denser areas will maintain habitat values for species using denser cover. If brush is present, brush piles can considerably improve quail habitat. Areas with slopes greater than 30 percent will have lower values for hunt clubs because of the difficult access.
Wildlife Diversity Assessment:
These live oak woodland stands support both grassland and woodland wildlife species. In general, the habitat is fairly good for a large number of wildlife species. The occurrence of more complex habitats, through the presence of habitat elements such riparian zones, snags, trees with cavities, and large woody debris, has an important effect on biodiversity. There are 18 amphibian species, 34 reptile species, 74 mammal species, and 131 bird species which are predicted to occur by CWHR on the most diverse habitats in these stands. If there are no riparian zones or sources of water, no snags or cavity trees, and no large woody debris or brush piles on the site, the number of vertebrate wildlife species predicted to occur in these habitats falls to 7 amphibian species, 32 reptiles, 38 mammals, and 98 bird species. This points to the importance of maintaining diversity in the habitat elements present in the stand to provide for the highest possible diversity of wildlife species.
Average forage production capability is 2,500 pounds per acre with a range from 1,500 to 3,500 pounds. Tree cover will cause some suppression of winter and spring production except in areas of low rainfall. Thistles and other undesirable plants may sometimes occur under the tree canopy. Potential for range improvement on slopes less than 30 percent through seeding, fertilization, and grazing management may increase productivity by two- to three- fold where production is currently at the low end of the scale. Tree thinning may increase forage production under the removed canopy in the higher rainfall zones of the state (over 20 inches per year).