Old Sauk Trails

Quercus restores natural systems through many methods, and one includes clearing areas for proper storm water management. We were able to demonstrate that type of work at Old Sauk Trails Park for the City of Madison. Old Sauk Trails Park was created in 1984 by The Gialama’s Company, a local real estate brokerage, property management and land development company. Old Sauk Trails Park was created with city and country in mind.  The park is located on 460 acres of Wisconsin countryside, contains over 60 buildings and over 200 companies. The green space within the park has walking and jogging trails which is where our efforts were focused. Green spaces like these are an important component to modern work environments, which have been scientifically proven to improve attitudes and efficiency. We hope that the efforts made this Summer will have a lasting positive effect and inspire those experiencing this space to continue to improve and enjoy this important functional and experiential space. 

In 2018, this area was one of the hardest hit by historic storms. Local businesses are still recovering after Dane county experienced state record-breaking rainfall. Flash flooding produced an overwhelming amount of damage to residential and commercial areas. Being about 2 years to the date, we were glad to be a part of clean up and flood limiting efforts for this site. The project involved removing brush and trees to mitigate hindrances to storm water drainage. Felling trees of various sizes and chipping them safely was on the forefront of our goals. Running chainsaws in the middle of summer made for some hot work, but it was rewarding to see the results! 

Projects, Update

Fenceline or Secret Savanna?

Every winter the Quercus crew has a few projects removing fencelines. In the midst of the project, it is not unusual to find wise old oak trees, like this one at the Patrick Marsh Conservancy in Sun Prairie. Once the brush is removed, the feel of the open grasslands and mature oaks can almost transport you back in time to the historical savannas.

Have a secret savanna on your property? Give us a call or email to schedule for Winter 2020.

Patrick Marsh before       Patrick Marsh after


2017 Spring Burn Season in review

The 2017 spring burn season started out pretty wet. We would get a few days of rain followed by a day or two of drier weather that we could burn, then the rain returned. The weather eventually began to cooperate, though we were seeing a quicker “green up” so we knew we had our work cut out for us. 53 burns on our list and the crew kicked it into high gear.

Our 2017 burn season looked differently than in the past. 3 members of the crew have received advanced training in Wildland Fire and are certified burn bosses. This allowed the Quercus crew to split into two different directions on most days and really contributed to us getting very close to completing all the burns on our list. Our crew members worked many long days, all while conducting burns in a safe, efficient, and professional manner.

Spring 2017 Summary:  49 burns, 86 burn units, 1623 acres, 18 burn days.

Projects, Update

Looking back on the burn season

This spring the Quercus Crew had another excellent burn season and we were able to check off all of our burns on our list! We burned 36 sites over 25 burn days and approximately 800 acres! It was a busy season and we were lucky enough to have a very talented photographer document two of our burns. One at the UW Lakeshore Preserve and one at a private property in the Ridgeway area. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we do – Check them out at:

If you would like the Quercus Crew to burn your property contact us in order to get on our list! Our schedule fills up quickly, and we try to prioritize burns based on the date we confirm them.      608-767-3553

Conservation Topics, Projects

Holy Smokes and Drones

On Wednesday Quercus burned at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, WI and had another safe, successful day on the job. The Monastery has 7 units totaling 85 acres of quality prairie on their property. 

The Quercus Crew had the privilege of having Michael Kienitz (  documenting their burn at Holy Wisdom with his incredible drones! It was amazing to see how well his drones handled the rising heat from our flames. The images are breath-taking and a perspective that we normally would never see! Check out the handful of photos from this day and his website for his other works (

Wisconsin Channel 3000 stopped by and interviewed Jim about our burn. Check it out here!

Conservation Topics, Projects

Documentary featuring Quercus at the 2015 Wisconsin Film Festival!

Last spring a UW Madison student, Elizabeth Wadium filmed a short documentary that features Quercus burning at Pheasant Branch and Lakeshore Nature Preserve called “Prairie Burns.” It is being screened at this year’s 2015 Wisconsin Film Festival!  Screening times are Thursday, April 9th at 8:45pm (Union South) and Friday, April 10th at 3:15 (Sundance Cinemas) before a showing of “Uncle John.” Come check out the Quercus Crew in action!


The 2015 Spring Burn Season has ARRIVED!

Today marks the first day of the Spring Burn season for the Quercus Crew! We are all excited to get started on our list of burns that are located in Western Dane County, Iowa County, and Columbia County. The crew are busy preparing the equipment and filling tanks with water and drip torches with fuel. For those of you who haven’t scheduled your burn with us yet, not to worry, there is still time to add your name to our list! If you see smoke on the horizon, it could be the Quercus Crew hard at work. Enjoy the spring!

Wet lining. Spring 2014
Wet lining. Spring 2014