Perhaps the most important plant in the Big Canoe ecosystem, the trusty oak tree is getting a little help from Big Canoe Grounds & Landscaping with a planting project that kicks off this month.
With assistance from the Alliance for International Reforestation, crews are planting 25 trees in the Wildcat and McDaniel Meadows areas based on recommendations of forest ecologist and former Georgia ForesetWatch executive director Jess Riddle. By adding indigenous trees such as the white, red, scarlet, and shumard oaks to the area, the effort will enhance the diversity of the greenery, which is something the ecologist proposed.
Although the oaks in Big Canoe are not in decline, their population is not increasing at its normal steady rate, says Mathew Parks, POA Grounds & Landscape manager. A range of environmental factors have contributed to the situation. Another issue is that many animals, including Big Canoe’s robust deer population, munch on oak saplings before they get a chance to establish themselves. As a result, the oak tree population could use the assist.
“The oak tree is one of the main food sources for most animals in the forest,” says Mathew, “So having a healthy and diverse population here is important.”