Oak Woodland

Coast live oak woodland, occurring in the coastal ranges just north of San Francisco down to Baja California, occupies shaded ravines and north facing slopes with deep soils. Quercus agrifolia (Coast Live Oak), the dominant species, reaches a height of up to 25 m (82 ft). The coast live oak is the second largest acorn producer in California and its thick bark makes it fire tolerant. The understory is composed of shade tolerant shrubs, herbaceous plants and ferns. This plant community has been significantly reduced in size due to land conversion for vineyards, grazing and urban development. Its complex structure supports a wide variety of birds, insects, salamanders and larger mammals. During the 1800s many live oaks were removed from campus and only a small portion remain. Those that do provide important habitat and aesthetic value.