Changes in the Landscape 2021

June 2021

The landscape around the nursery has seen some dramatic changes in the last several years...and, unexpectedly, the last few months.

Near the end of your drive to visit the nursery, you take the turn off Maple Grove and begin on the gravel surface of Priem Rd. Soon after the right-angle bend, you'll begin to climb and see blocks of grapevines to your right. This vineyard is relatively new to the landscape; it was developed and planted over the last decade by a local team hired by Kendall-Jackson.

Satellite view with labels of the Dancing Oaks Nursery and surroundings. Google. (n.d.). Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens. Retrieved from https://g.page/DancingOaksNursery?share
Satellite view with labels of the Dancing Oaks Nursery and surroundings.
Google. (n.d.). Dancing Oaks Nursery and Gardens. Retrieved from https://g.page/DancingOaksNursery?share

As you continue up & over the hill and reach lowlands again, you enter into the timber farm owned by the Wiesensee family. This area is undergoing a process of Oregon White Oak woodland restoration.

Photo by Leonard Foltz taken from the hillside southwest of the nursery grounds.
Photo by Leonard Foltz taken from the hillside southwest of the nursery grounds.

Many trees and shrubs were removed from this area in order to leave intentionally spaced Oregon White Oaks (Quercus garryana). Then the newly-opened ground was seeded with a native mix of grasses and forbs. The local herd of elk and other wildlife are already taking advantage of this newly revitalized habitat.

Photo by Leonard Foltz taken of the Oak woodland restoration area outside the nursery gates.
Photo by Leonard Foltz taken of the Oak woodland restoration area outside the nursery gates.

Finally, as you look up to the hillsides beyond the nursery, you'll see the most recent—and possibly most dramatic—changes in our landscape. These hillsides are also owned and managed by the extended family of the nursery owners. On these hills over many years, pine and Douglas fir trees were planted (some by nursery owners, Fred Weisensee & Leonard Foltz in 1994 & 1995), left to mature, then selectively logged and sold for lumber and firewood. The latest round of selective logging had JUST been completed during the summer of 2020.

Then, sadly, the February 2021 ice storm threw a wrench in the plans to continue the selective logging process: a majority of the trees on these hillsides broke and collapsed under the unusually heavy ice load. The damage was so extensive that the difficult (and expensive) decision was made to clear-cut the area and start anew.

Photo taken looking up the hillside southwest of the nursery grounds.
Photo taken looking up the hillside southwest of the nursery grounds.

This dramatic change was not planned or desired...but new, alternative approaches for the management of this landscape are under discussion now. Stay tuned—and visit often—to see what develops!