Chaparral is best known as a thick coating of shrubs and small trees inpenetrably covering an area. Some plants which often make up chaparral are chamise
, scrub oak
. Chaparral is one of the most dominant and widespread vegetation types of California
and I am sure it exists elsewhere as well. Chaparral prefers rather dry areas, although it does need a certain amount of winter rain to keep it going. It is generally found on slopes of the San Bernadino Mountains
, the San Gabriel Mountains
, the Santa Ana Mountains
, the Santa Monica Mountains
, the Central Coast Ranges
and lower western slopes of the Sierra
. Chaparral is charactarized by plants with waxy
small leaves full of various oils. This makes chaparral extremely flammable. Most of these plants are very adapted to fire
; after a fire they will sprout from the roots and resume growing as if nothing has happened. However these fires are rather hot-burning and fast moving and are detrimental to human habitation
. Keep this in mind before you buy a house nestled in chaparral.
chaparral areas can be pleasant places to visit, but you have to do it at the right time of the year. Stay away from chaparral in the summer, most places it grows get pretty damn hot. If you are there in the fall and see any smoke , get the hell out of there, especially if a santa ana wind is blowing. I suggest visiting in the spring or late winter between storms when the ceanothus is blooming. At these times its really nice. But forget traveling cross country because you wont be able to get more than 3 feet off of the trail.