California Native Plant Society

Help Us Restore Oaks to Wine Country

Blue oak
Photo credit: Ger Erickson

In October, at least 31,000 acres of oak forest and woodlands burned in the devastating wine country fires. These oaks support hundreds of different species of wildlife, birds, pollinators, and other animals, and are critical elements of local ecosystems.

Now, CNPS and partners have launched an ambitious effort to "Re-Oak" wine country. While many oaks are naturally resilient to fire, those destroyed by bulldozing and other fire-fighting actions need our help to recover.

You Can Make a Difference!

We are nearing the end of the acorn harvest, but there is ongoing need for help to process, grow, and plant the oaks over the next 14 months. If you can help, or want to keep in touch with our efforts, please submit your information below. No time to volunteer? Consider becoming a CNPS member or donating today. Thank you!!

 

Yes, I'd Like to Help!

To get started, please send us the following information. We'll respond immediately with instructions and where to send the acorns based on your location. Thank you!

(All fields are required)




*If you have any trouble with this form, or do not receive a reply by email within a few minutes, please email the information requested in the form above (name, address, city, zip, email) to . You should receive more information immediately, and we will respond to questions as soon as we can.

 

In the News

The Re-Oaking effort is making headlines! See our latest news release and what your local media are saying.

CNPS News
San Francisco Chronicle
WWL - Channel 4
Vacaville Reporter
East Bay Times
ABC News10

 

FAQs

Thank you for the great questions we're receiving. Here are a few important updates and answers. We'll continue to add to this information as needed.More complete FAQs are provided to those registering (above), and we'll continue to add to this information as needed.

Are you planting acorns from other areas in wine country?
No. In compliance with restoration best practices, we are using acorns only from the burned wine country areas, down to the specific locations in which the species occurred.

When will you be planting the oaks?
Over the next 14 months, we are planting acorns in the ground, in pots, and transferring seedlings from pots. CNPS works with parks, non-profits, and other partners to determine specific planting sites, schedule planting days, and engage the community. Next winter, when the rains come, we will come together to plant our oak seedlings in natural settings and carefully chosen gardens and landscaping sites.

What oak species are you planting?
We have accepted acorns of all oak species in the area. All viable acorns are identified by specimen and location by our experts.

Can I plant acorns myself right now?
Yes. Planting local acorns on your own land is one of the best things you can do. Acorn to Oak (pdf) gives guidance, but it can be relatively straightforward: plant, protect from mowers and weeds, enjoy.

I'm afraid to plant oaks on my property after seeing so many burn. Do oaks cause fires?
No, but this is a common concern that we hear and understand. Oaks have actually evolved to withstand fires. The real problem are highly flammable invasive grasses such as Ripgut brome.  We encourage property owners to learn how to identify and manage flammable invasive grasses. To learn more about invasive plants in your area, please contact your local CNPS chapter.

Important Note
Standard practice is to take no more than 5% in a single area. We want to be sure to leave enough for the wildlife and self-seeding.

 

Join CNPS (Membership)  

Valley oaks
Photo credit: Ger Erickson


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