The Oak Woodland Forest ecosystem is prevalent in California. It contains both evergreen (live oaks) and deciduous types of oak trees. Oaks are considered foundation species because of their role in the web of life.
Identifying California Oak Trees
Acorns – One of the Most Important Protein Sources for Native Americans
History: Native American Food Processing
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Cornell University – The California Acorn Survey
Oak Trees & Woodlands
Live Oak Gall Wasp – Joyce Gross
Living Wild Project – Oak
Native Oaks booklet – Placer Tree Partners – PDF
University of Nebraska – What drives masting? The phenological synchrony hypothesis (PDF) – Mass seed production years
WikiHow – How to Identify Oak Leaves
Indian Grinding Rock State Park
Pine Grove, CA (approx. 90 miles from Nevada City, CA)
Instructions for Gathering & Processing Acorns
Collect in fall when nuts are on the ground.
- discard nuts with caps
- discard nuts with black streaks
- discard nuts with holes
Wash & dry nuts in a single layer – bring inside every night to keep dry.
Dry for several weeks.
Grind nuts into meal / flour.
Leach with cool water – it’s done when ground material tastes bland.
Strain water from mash – eat immediately or dry.