Oak Savanna

This area is known as an oak savanna which were once common throughout Rice County. A savanna is a grassy prairie area with scattered “open-grown” oaks. “Open grown” means the main branches of the trees are spreading. Oaks were the most common tree in savannas because their thick bark made them resistant to the many fires that burned the grasses and killed more fire sensitive trees and shrubs. This savanna is a bit unusual in that the most com tree is a red oak. White oak and burr oak are also found here. The most common prairie grass in this savanna is little bluestem which turns a beautiful purple in the Fall. Notice also the round-headed bush clover. Fire and brush cutting are currently being used as tools to keep this savanna open.