Planting Site Basics
Where Are We Planting?
Sourced from outdoorproject.com and Heron Marychild
A treasured national historic site, Dorris Ranch Living History Farm is located where the Middle and Coast Fork Willamette Rivers meet. Home to the oldest hazelnut farm in the country, Dorris Ranch offers hands-on programs and is full of public walking trails and parks. It also features an outdoor museum that works to engage the public, and educate the community on the surrounding natural environment. With the hopes of continuing this education, we have partnered with Dorris Ranch to reforest and protect this area.
What Trees Are We Planting?
Garry oak (Quercus garryana) also known as Oregon white oak is a species of oak with a range stretching from Southwestern British Columbia to Northern California. It is the only oak species native to the Pacific Northwest and thrives in full sun environments and dry soil in the summer.
Why Plant Dry Temperate Forests At Dorris Ranch?
Garry oak woodlands are an early successional landscape. This means that they thrive in open areas with plenty of sunshine. They also depend on regular disturbances that prevent them from being overtaken by competing species like the Douglas-fir. Typically these woodlands occur in drier areas where natural wildfires are common. Historical records show that periodic deliberate burning was widely practiced by the Indigenous peoples of these areas. Fires perpetuated grasslands that produced food sources (like camas, bracken fern, and oak) and provided grazing and hunting grounds for deer and elk. Mature Garry oaks would survive these low-intensity grass fires, but seedlings of competing species would be wiped out allowing the oak woodlands to thrive.
Garry oak woodlands create a landscape mosaic of grassland, savanna, woodland, and closed-canopy forest. This mosaic of varied habitats, in turn, allows many more species to live in this area than would be possible in a coniferous forest alone. However, fire suppression and development of these ecosystems with the expansion of permanent human settlement, has made fires much less common and many of these woodlands have been overtaken and replaced by conifer forests. Over time, invasive and other local species like Douglas fir, big leaf maple, Oregon ash, and cherry trees have encroached on the area and taken over. This has drastically reduced critical habitat for local wildlife including the acorn woodpecker, nuthatch, northern pygmy owl, and the western gray squirrel.
By planting Garry oaks, which once dominated the landscape at Dorris Ranch, we’re helping to restore 15 acres of oak woodland and 33 acres of prairie. The goal of this project was to restore the floodplain species and improve the habitat for a wide variety of animals and plants.
Who’s Planting With Us?
The restoration project began in late 2017 with the thinning of competing and invasive species at the site. This opened up more woodland for planting with plenty of sunlight for Garry oaks to thrive. Our partners continue to actively and effectively restore the Garry oak, allowing local wildlife to regain their natural habitats.
What’s the impact?
- Provide stability to the land and protect against erosion and encourage soil regeneration
- Rehabilitate floodplains in the watershed to raise water tables and increase flood water storage
- Protect biodiversity and habitat by restoring rare ecosystems
- Protect existing forest cover
- Sequestering carbon to help combat climate change
- Protect and regenerate park land for the community
- Provide unique educational opportunities about local ecosystems and forest stewardship
- Improve sense of community, wellbeing and connection to local watershed through public engagement
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that are a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”
Here are the SDGs that we’re addressing in our Dorris Ranch site:
#6 – Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
#11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
# 13 – Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy
#15 – Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Want to see where your trees are planted? Register your trees now.