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Moosa Creek Blog
JUL
30

Woodland Plant Community

Creekside Chat

The fragrant trees and plants that populate the mountains of San Diego are hardy to both snow and dry, warm summers. Many mountain dwellers perform fire clearance of trees from around their homes leaving open areas where non-native weeds then thrive. These non-natives are the worst fire risk as their dry stalks carry flame quickly over the landscape. Areas already burnt also need revegetation. Planting the correct plants in this delicate community is vital. Here are plants that lucky forest dwellers can use in their yards.

From foothills to shoreline we are graced with magnificent oaks. We all know the evergreen Canyon Live Oak, but in the mountains the deciduous Black Oak drops large acorns and its colored leaves welcome in autumn. With its delicate gray-green leaves the Englemann Oak is found only in Southern California. Foothill Pine has edible seeds and wonderful forest fragrance. Bay Laurel is a slow-growing tree to 40’ or so; the leaves are used in cooking as well as an insect repellant. Brown Twig Dogwood needs water near its roots and has clusters of scented creamy flowers in early summer.

Tall shrubs that can be used as hedges are the glossy-leaved Coffeeberry and Toyon, also known as Christmasberry.

Smaller landscape plants include California Goldenrod, which lights up the woodland meadows with stunning yellow flowers that offer vital food for birds and insects. Buckbrush is a hardy nitrogen-fixer with pretty white flowers that is a secondary pioneer plant after fires, and its cousin Deer Brush is covered with light blue blooms in early spring and is an excellent slope stabilizer. Hummingbird Sage is just what its name promises, providing rich nectar for our hummers. It enjoys some afternoon shade.

If you live in our snowy mountains, then you are lucky to enjoy fragrant plants that often bring seasonal color to the landscape. Load your yard with plants special to your community and watch the birds thrive.

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