Oak woodland communities are found on north slopes and in shaded ravines or canyon bottoms and is characterized by coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), hollyleaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia), California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), and poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum). Coast live oak is more tolerant to salt-laden fog than other oaks and thus can be found relatively near the ocean. This community is often found on the well-drained soils of coastal plains and protected bluffs. Groves are formed across valleys and along streams and intermittent watercourses. Live oaks, as their name suggests, are evergreen. Preferring permanent water, the deep taproots of live oaks can reach to the water table.
Well-developed oak woodlands can be found at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park and at Rocky Oaks.
Did You Know?
Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.