5 WAYS TO IDENTIFY AN OAK SAVANNA
Here are five ways to identify an Oak Savanna:
1. Location, location, location!
If you live or are traveling in the geographic locations on the map below, you are more than likely driving past oak savannas. See if you can spot one the next time you are traveling.
2. Identification! Identify the Bur Oaks (Quercus Macrocarpa) as the primary tree in the ecosystem. Sometimes this tree is called Mossycup Oak. Bur Oak is one of the most massive native oaks in North America. Bur Oaks have very thick, fire-resistant bark and a gnarled appearance especially in the winter.
3. Grass under the trees! Look for park-like hilltops with a spread of trees and grassland underneath them inviting onlookers to a picnic.
4. Wider than tall trees! The trees grow very broad branches growing low and even touching the ground at times.
5. Old majestic looking trees! The 150-350 year old tress with 24-40 inch diameter trunks and larger grace hilltops in groups. They have very slow growing tight rings. Even though they grow very exposed in the environment they are extremely durable even under high winds, low and high temps, and wet and dry conditions.
These trees are treasures in our landscape and are highly endangered. Because management practices, fires, and the landscapes are changing, they must be cared for and managed well to prevent the loss of these beautiful ecosystems. They can also be restored to keep the trees protected.