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Oakwood Valley is home to the largest naturally occurring oak/bay woodland in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Unfortunately, the health of the oak and bay trees is threatened by the rapid expansion of invasive eucalyptus and acacia trees, cotoneaster, and French broom. Sudden Oak Death and wildfire due to the flammability of oil-rich eucalyptus leaves also pose a significant threat. Thanks to a generous private donation, the Park Stewardship Program was able to help protect the oak forest in a two-phase project that began in 2012, and culminated in December 2013.
The goal of the project was to protect the oak/bay woodland by removing invasive vegetation from areas where there are abundant oak seedlings and saplings, and areas with natural integrity. With the help of contractors, seven acres of French broom and cotoneaster was removed, and small acacia and eucalyptus trees were cut from the leading edge of groves to reduce the expansion into oak/bay woodland.
Buried under the thick stands of French broom and cotoneaster were many baby oak and bay trees, and the hope is that these trees, once trapped by copious amounts of invasive plants, will grow and establish new oak/bay woodland.
There is much weeding and planting to be done in order to maintain and protect the oak/bay woodland at Oakwood Valley. We need the help of volunteers! Please come join us for an upcoming Saturday program on February 1, March 1, and April 5.