Image of the Peter J. Shields Oak Grove in the UC Davis Arboretum.

Pre-Conference Day Trips

Pre-Conference Day Trips

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Three Pre-Conference Day Trips will be held on Sunday, October 21. All day trips will start and end at the UC Davis Conference Center. Registration for Day Trips is now closed. 

Option 1: Frog Pond Trail – Oaks in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Schedule: 8 am to 3 pm, Sunday, October 21

Tour Fee: $30, includes transportation by van and box lunch

Image of Frog Pond Trail.
Berryessa Snow National Monument - Andrew Fulks

Tour Description: Come explore the new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, as we hike the 5-mile Frog Pond Trail loop. Oaks are well represented within the monument, and the Frog Pond Trail showcases several species along the route. The trailhead starts in the shade of interior live oaks (Quercus wislizeni). Along Fiske Creek and near the old farmstead, heritage valley oaks (Q. lobata) tower over the historic Rayhouse Road. As we ascend up to the Frog Pond, visitors will traverse through groves of blue oaks (Q. douglasii), as the State Wild and Scenic Cache Creek winds below. Part of the trail passes through chaparral, where many scrub oaks (Q. berberidifolia) will be mixed within the chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum). Portions of the area were subject to several fires along different segments of the trail, including the Sixteen Fire in 1999, Rumsey Fire in 2004, and Rocky Fire in 2015. This mosaic of burns creates interesting vegetation responses, which will be visible to the participants. With the Blue Ridge and Cortina Ridge creating a spectacular backdrop, this hike will showcase the geologic and vegetative wonders of the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. This is a moderately strenuous hike with a total elevation gain of 660 ft.

Tour Leader: Andrew Fulks is the Assistant Director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden and Board President for Tuleyome. He played an instrumental role in developing the strategy to secure protection for 330,000 acres in the Berryessa Snow Mountain region under the national monument designation in 2015. An avid hiker, trailbuilder, and land conservation advocate, Andrew has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural history of this region.

Option 2: The Oaks of Pepperwood – Research, Land Management and Fire

Schedule: 8 am to 4 pm, Sunday, October 21

Tour Fee: $35, includes transportation by van and box lunch

Image of Pepperwood Preserve.
Pepperwood Preserve

Tour Description: Join us for a day in gorgeous Sonoma County as we take in sweeping vistas and explore the oaks of Pepperwood Preserve, a 3,200-acre “living laboratory” where science, education, and the community come together. Pepperwood is home to nine oak species, some of which are at the edges of their distributions – such as southernmost Oregon oak (Quercus garryana var. garryana) and northernmost inner coast range blue oak (Q. douglasii). Other dominant oaks include California black oak (Q. kelloggii), coast live oak (Q. agrifolia), and leather (Q. durata) and scrub oak (Q. berberidifolia), which are shrubs that dominate serpentine chaparral. The white oak group (blue, leather, Oregon, and scrub oak) often hybridize and are spotted throughout the landscape with their variety of morphologies – challenging even the best oak experts among us!

Given the topographical complexity and rich oak diversity of the preserve, it has become a hot spot for oak forest research and management. In October 2017, about 90% of Pepperwood burned in the Tubbs Fire, giving us the unique opportunity to see how the landscape is responding one year later. During our tour we will visit with expert researchers and land managers who will showcase their projects ranging from oak phenology, demography, and long-term topoclimate science, to managing Douglas-fir encroachment and monitoring the effect of the recent wildfire on oak regeneration and recruitment. You will enjoy lunch with a breathtaking view of Sonoma County’s wine country landscape, visit a variety of unique oak communities, and come away with an appreciation for the beautiful and fire-dependent Mediterranean landscape.

Tour Leader: Michelle Halbur is Pepperwood’s Preserve Ecologist where she oversees Citizen Science and Visiting Scholars programming. She manages the majority of on-site research projects including the Wildlife Picture Index, grassland and forest monitoring, prescribed fire monitoring, plant phenology, breeding bird surveys, the Stephen J. Barnhart Herbarium, and more. Michelle also helps to translate Pepperwood’s conservation science for a variety of audiences, including students, interns, and the public.

Option 3: Wine Country Tour and Tastings

​Tour Fee: $250, includes transportation by private bus, wine tastings, and gourmet lunch

Schedule: 8 am to 6 pm, Sunday, October 21

Image of Mumm Napa's Oak Terrace.
Mumm Napa's Oak Terrace

Tour Description: Come tour the world famous Napa Valley! Just an hour west of Conference Headquarters in Davis, California, we will explore this beautiful region during harvest and acorn season. This all inclusive tour on a comfy, private bus will include a visit to Napa’s Oxbow Preserve to see a champion valley oak (Quercus lobata) and remnant coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) forest, a pre-lunch sparkling wine tasting on Mumm Napa’s stunning Oak Terrace, a fabulous lunch (with wine of course!), and even more wine tasting at one of Napa’s oldest wineries. Napa area Consulting Arborist Bill Pramuk will join us for a brief talk and an open question and answer session about Napa’s oak tree heritage, current preservation challenges, and anything else you can think to ask him. Along the way, we will be sure to stop at the famous V. Satui winery and market to admire even more California oak trees while hunting for souvenirs and wine to enjoy throughout the conference. Participants must be 21 years of age to attend this magical day in California’s wine country. Space is limited to 20 participants.

Tour Leader: Zarah Wyly is the Restoration Ecologist for the Sacramento Tree Foundation and Chair of the City of Davis Tree Commission. She leads habitat restoration projects across the Sacramento region and annually trains and organizes hundreds of volunteers to conduct a massive acorn harvest for the Sacramento Tree Foundation's Seed to Seedling program.