Blue Oak Monitoring

Oaks in an open field.
Oaks in an open field.

Knowledge Gap

Blue oak woodlands are a prominent habitat in the foothills of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These woodlands host high species diversity, have cultural significance, and are the first scenery that visitors encounter. Though oak species are thought to be tolerant to high temperature and aridity, the 2012-2016 severe drought raised concerns about mortality of oaks in the parks. An aerial survey by the Forest Service displays on a broad scale how deeply affected oak stands were. Studies in surrounding communities have reported 10-30% oak mortality, though they are not monitored within the park. Blue oaks are endemic to California, occurring only within a narrow range that includes valleys and low slopes of the Sierra Nevada foothills and the Coast Ranges. We don’t know the extent of drought impacts in the parks’ blue oak woodlands, if the blue oaks are at risk, or if they will be able to recover while faced with continued climatic change.

We Need Your Help!

Spend a day in the field helping us to remeasure trees and see how our oaks are doing. Volunteers will learn and practice basic forest demography skills and contribute meaningful data to our project so that we might better understand this special environment!

Last updated: November 27, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Phone:

(559) 565-3341

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