Hidden Oaks Savanna

Hidden Oaks Savanna is a restored savanna area on the broad, northern end of Hidden Oaks Point.  It includes flat cleared areas that are growing up into prairie, old Burr Oaks with savanna vegetation beginning to come back beneath them, and a small mesic remnant that we call Hidden Oaks Meadow.   Its southern border is the north edge of the dry bluff prairie on Hidden Oaks Point, and its northern border is the Narrows Prairie.  Until 2017 we included the savanna with the rest of Hidden Oaks Point, but it has gotten so big that we decided it deserved its own page and its own name.

Here are photos and stories from Hidden Oaks Savanna from each year:  2018,   2017,   2016,   2015,   2014,   2013,   2012,   2011,   2010,   2009,   2008,   2007,   2006,   2005,   2004,   2003,   2002

 

When we started working on this area it was all woods except Hidden Oaks Meadow.  This is the view in 2004, from the bluff prairie, looking north into what is now the savanna.

 

Here’s the same place in 2017 – but from the other direction – looking out from the cleared savanna into the bluff prairie.   This is our favorite bench – about half way through our afternoon walk, with a view out over our land.

 

This is Hidden Oaks Meadow – the mesic remnant.  We’ve mowed and cut brush to enlarge it, and in 2014 we cleared the line of brush and small trees between the remnant and the Narrows Prairie (one of our planted prairies) just to the north.

 

When we first came, the middle area, just south of the meadow, was a thick grove of aspen and birch.  I girdled the trees in 2005.  This shows the path, with the aspen/birch grove to the right, looking toward the point.

 

Over the next few years the trees died and fell down, and shrubs – stimulated by more light – grew up into a nearly impenetrable tangle.  We finally tackled it in 2012, and cut and mowed and cleared dead trees.  Now it’s recovering and looking more like savanna.  This is that same area, looking through it from the other direction – into Hidden Oaks Meadow.