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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Managed grazing and seedling shelters enhance oak regeneration on rangelands

  • Author(s): McCreary, Douglas D.
  • George, Melvin R.
  • et al.

Livestock grazing remains a common practice on California’s hardwood rangelands. This can create problems for oak regeneration because grazing has been identified as one of the factors limiting the establishment of certain oak species. Previous research, as well as recent studies at the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, suggests that cattle will damage both planted and/or naturally occurring oaks, but damage varies by season with less during the winter when deciduous oaks do not have leaves. Damage is also influenced by the density and distribution of cattle stocking. Oaks taller than 6.5 feet seem relatively resistant to cattle damage in lightly to moderately grazed pastures, but smaller seedlings need protection.

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