We Call Her Big Mama Oak

We call her Big Mama Oak.

Most hikers in Coldwater Canyon Park probably don’t know her by name, but I am well acquainted with her. She has likely been a resident of our park for somewhere between 200 and 300 years.

Coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), like Big Mama Oak, can live to be 850 to 1,500 years old!

From providing food and shelter to countless animal species to cleaning the air we breathe, helping store water and combat erosion, these oaks are the cornerstone of our local ecosystems.Read more >>

Growing a Greener Future One Acorn at a Time

In 1977, TreePeople set roots at Coldwater Canyon Park, a 45-acre slice of wonder hidden in the Santa Monica mountains. The former fire station is home to miles of hiking trails, magnificent old oak trees, and some of the most scenic vistas in the LA.  For over 40 years, we’ve had a profound connection to not only this hilly outcrop that we call home, but to the entire mountain range that surrounds us and the city. That is why we here at TreePeople are committed to preserving and restoring the wildlands in the Santa Monica Mountains for generations to come.Read more >>

A New Planting Season Takes Root on National Public Lands Day

Every year in late September, hundreds of thousands of people head outside for National Public Lands Day. The observance first started in 1994 to raise awareness and protect the spaces maintained by federal, state and local governments for public use– over 30% of the US landmass. The event has grown into the single largest volunteer event dedicated to preserving and restoring our public lands. Not only is it a chance for people to give back, it is also a wonderful chance to explore, as many state and federal agencies relax fees for the day.Read more >>

Coast Live Oak Falls Prey to Gophers

You know it’s dry when gophers start taking down trees.

Why is that? Well, normally tree roots make up part of your standard gopher diet. They’ll tunnel down to a tree’s root ball, chow down for a little while, and then move on. But as long as they only eat part of the roots – which is usually how it goes – the tree can still get plenty of nutrients and water from the soil, so it remains healthy. … Read more >>

Acorns for Thanksgiving dinner?

Back before pilgrims and celebrations of food and football, at least 12 native California tribes depended on the acorns of coast live oaks and considered them a staple.

Beyond nourishing humans, California oaks are considered a keystone species, meaning that many other animals and plants depend on them and grow in relationship to them.  There are over 160 animal species and over 40 plant species that live in relation to California oaks.

With 19 different species of oak in California, there is about one for nearly every ecosystem – from our channel islands to the desert and areas in between.… Read more >>