The first three pictures show the fate of representative oak seedlings on the Upper 40. Recall that my brother and I had "planted" somewhere in excess of a couple hundred acorns last winter. Tens of those sprouted and I was optimistic that we'd have a bumper crop of new oaks. The gophers apparently like oak seedlings as much as I do. Here's a photo of one that I pulled from the ground. The second photo, a close up of the root, shows characteristic teeth marks.
Photo 3 is one of the remaining seedlings, still apparently healthy. The loose earth nearby is tailings from a gopher hole, so that tells me that gophers can overlook nearby victims.
Photo 4 is of a plant that I suspect is a native, but I can't identify it. Can anyone out there?
Here's a photo of its leaves.