Oak Openings at Nichols Arboretum
Oak Openings is a special collection begun in 2001 in partnership with the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Wild Ones. We are developing a collection of the plants formerly common to the oak openings habitats in the Ann Arbor area. Oak openings serves both as a display and for propagating plants for use in other restorations throughout the Arboretum.
Many of the wildflowers that require nearly full summer sun come into bloom in the oak openings. The term oak openings refers to the general name given by early European settlers to the quasi-open woodlands and prairies found in southern Michigan and other Midwestern states. These same habitats have also been called oak savannas, oak barrens, oak groves, oak woodlands, or prairies depending on the soil types, density of trees, and overall degree of openness. Today, these habitats are among the most threatened in the U.S., with less than 1% of the original remaining.
The Oak Openings Garden is at the Nichols Arboretum site.