HOT MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE (6 to 7 months without substantial rainfall, summers are frequently above 37C ( 97F)
USDA cold hardy to zone 10a. AHS Heat zone: 7
14 hectares (35 acres) in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California at 490 m (1410 ft)
Hot dry summers, cool wet winters, oak chaparral ecosystem, several seasonal creeks.
Average annual rain: 890 mm (35 in)
Average winter minimum: 0 C (32 F)
Very deep soils (>4 feet) with 3 inches of topsoil within mostly clay loam, small areas of sandy loam/sandy soils (near creeks). Frequent outcrops of stone, additionaly, various sites with large amounts of boulder. 50% canopy cover, averaged across our property. Predominant wind year-round from the South. Our 17 hectare (35 acre) Site is South facing with an average slope of 23.1 % grade (13 degrees). Wind tunnel effect with our south-facing, valley shaped location creates considerably more rainfall in the wet season, as well as slightly increased drought by wind in the summer, relative to neighboring positions.
Some native plants on our sites:
mulberry, fig, blackberry, grape, quercus spp. (oaks), mistletoe, pinus spp. (pines) manzanita, madrone, redbud, buckeye, toyon, poison oak, cottonwood, alder, cattail, watercress, rose, plantain, yellow dock, peppermint, trifolium spp. (clovers), vetch, soap plant, (ferns), ca poppy, globe lily, twining snake lily, common reed, wild endive, wild cucumber, wild lettuce, lupine, yarrow, dandelion, milk thistle, bedstraw, dutchman’s pipe, deer grass, bermuda grass, crabgrass.
REGIONAL BIOME [Particularly our 14 hectare (35 acre) site]
Keystone Tree Species:
general keystone = quercus berberidifolia (california scrub oak)
* general sub-key = pinus sabiniana (gray/digger pine)
riparian keystone = ficus carica (fig)
* riparian sub-key = populus fremontii (western cottonwood)
shade keystone = arbutus menziesii (madrone)
Keystone Shrub/Small Tree Species:
general keystone = heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)
* general sub-key = arctostaphylos spp. (manzanita)
riparian keystone = sambucus cerulea (blue elderberry)
shade keystone = aesculus californica (california buckeye)
* shade sub-key = toxicodendeon diversilobum (poison oak)
Keystone Herbaceous Species:
general keystone = danthonia californica (california wild oat)
general sub-key = trifolium pratense (red clover)
riparian keystone = rubus fruticosus (blackberry)
Keystone Vining Species:
general keystone = vitis californica (grape)
shade keystone = aristolochia californica (dutchman’s pipe)
35 to 40 degrees celsius (95 to 104 F), frequently in summer.
frequent deer traffic
moderate gopher activity