Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

Blog Contact Us Directions

3232 Las Pilitas Rd
Santa Margarita, CA 93453

Shop For Plants Cart Contents

This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Restoration of a quarry

in a California Chaparral ecosystem.

This was a mitigation we did in conjunction with California Polytechnic University. The task was to prove that the Union Asphalt Quarry could be restored to a Chaparral-Oak Woodland Site. We were given a pile of decomposed granite road base 100-200 ft. wide and about 700 ft. long to 'restore' into a native site. We covered the site with boulders, patches of shredded redwood mulch  and planted the site with Quercus agrifolia, Quercus lobata, Quercus dumosa, Arctostaphylos glauca, Ceanothus cuneatus, Adenostoma fasciculatum, Diplacus(Mimulus) longiflorus, Salvia mellifera, etc.. The site was watered 2-3 times by a water truck by overhead spray,(like they were washing a road off.) The planting was 'washed' off for the first month, only. No water after first month, no maintenance. This is an interior climate and is commonly 100 deg. F. in summer. The last pictures are after 7 years.  After 20 years there is recruitment of oaks and shrub Baccharis.

our quarry restoration before we covered it with rip rap and planted plants - grid24_6
A large mound of road base, make it a native site.
placing plants next to rocks - grid24_6
A landscape crew of 4 guys planted this whole thing in one day.
planting native plants next to rocks - grid24_6
We had the quarry throw rocks over top the road base, we planted next to each rock.
a restoration with the rocks as mulch - grid24_6
This picture is why we moved from a camera to digital, sorry about the quality.
a rock planting, no, it's actually a native planting using rock as mulch - grid24_6
The restoration after three years.
The dead looking stuff in the right photo are grasses and deer weed, both were seeded in by the 'management' against our advice. BTW, scanned photos really, really do not work, the bottom ones are digital.