A special collection and partnership

Oak Openings is a special partnership with the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Wild Ones to develop a collection of the plants formerly common to certain local habitats. Oak openings are a display and propagate plants used in restorations in the Arboretum.

A woodland-prairie mix

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.

A threatened ecosystem

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.