Quercus brandegeei

The mystery of a Mexican oak

Quercus brandegeei, is a species of oak that only occurs in a very narrow and isolated range in southern Baja California, Mexico.

It grows in stream beds that are dry most of the year but fill with water after exceptionally heavy rains, like hurricanes. It is thought to live up to 800 years but little is known about the life history of the tree.

Surveys have revealed that no regeneration appears to be happening in its natural habitat and all individuals appear to be at least 100 years old.

Mystery solved with water

  • Water has been found to be a key factor for germination.
  • A field enclosure experiment has been established to test the effects of farm animal grazing on seedling survival.
  • A propagation protocol has been developed.
  • A local nursery has been built and is propagating 2,000 seedlings for reintroduction.
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