• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

Oak Woodland

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?

Rangers from California State Parks and the National Park Service discuss program ideas.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established in 1978, but the National Park Service did not own public parkland in the area until 1980. National Park Rangers devised clever ways to promote the national park goals without land by creating thriving partnerships with many agencies.