Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) is a magnificent tree historically prevalent in the Willamette Valley, including areas in the Molalla and Rock Creek Watersheds. Today, less than 10% of Willamette Valley oak woodland, savanna, and prairie habitats remain. The majority of this remaining oak habitat is in private ownership.
Oak-associated habitats are part of our shared cultural heritage and support hundreds of plant, insect, and wildlife species. To help restore this important habitat, the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The District may be able to provide technical assistance to Clackamas County landowners to help them restore or improve the oak populations on their property. NRCS has funding available for rural properties in the Molalla River and Rock Creek Watersheds of Clackamas County (Canby, Barlow, Macksburg, Mulino, Molalla, Needy, Yoder, Marquam and Wilhoit areas) to help with enhancing Oregon white oak woodlands, savannas, and associated prairies.
If you have Oregon white oak trees and . . .
- Are concerned about the health of the oak trees because they are:
- Being over-topped by Douglas-fir or other faster growing tree species
- Being overtaken by invasive species, for example: Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom, English ivy, English hawthorn, bird cherry or English holly
- Would like to plant more oak trees and/or associated native plant species on your property
- Would like to enhance the oak habitat on your property to provide for wildlife and/or pollinators
. . . our technical staff may be able to help!
Oak friendly native plants
There are many flowering shrubs associated with Oregon white oak habitats including oceanspray, mock orange, red-flowering currant, and blue elderberry. Our very own Oregon State flower, tall Oregon grape, is an oak-associated plant!
Additionally there are many beautiful wildflowers that are also found in oak savannas and prairies including camas, columbine, and goldenrod. The flowering and fruiting plant species associated with oak trees provide excellent food sources for pollinators and wildlife.
Oak habitat supports wildlife and pollinators
Over 200 wildlife species and hundreds of insects species, including many pollinator species, are associated with Oregon white oak.
Acorns, leaves from the oak trees, and the many invertebrates that make their homes in oak trees, provide a multitude of food resources for wildlife. Additionally, the trees provide excellent nesting, roosting, resting, perching, and denning sites for wildlife species including raptors, woodpeckers, owls, songbirds, deer squirrels, shrews, snakes, salamanders, and frogs. The Oregon State bird, the western meadowlark, is also associated with Oregon white oak savanna! Some of the species associated with Oregon white oak are imperiled, including western gray squirrel and slender-billed nuthatch.
For more information, take a look at this newly released Oakscaping Guide:
If you are interested in technical assistance for your oak property, we can help! Possible funding assistance from NRCS to enhance the oak on your property is limited to certain areas within the county.
For more information please contact Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 or email Conservation Planning Program Manager Jenne Reische.