Oaks treated with fire mimicry fully recover from heavy wind damage in <1 yr

15 11 2019

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In late February of this year a severe wind storm hit the coast of Big Sur and damaged many trees, including a large grove of coast live oaks I began treating with fire mimicry last year. I re-photographed many of the oaks at the time and could clearly see the loss of leaves in the oak canopies, compared to last fall. The photo sets above show how heavily some of the oaks were damaged.

The photos below show how these and many other oaks that sustained damage in the February storm recovered in just 8 months! Most are looking even healthier than they appeared last fall. It may well be that fire mimicry treatments have aided in the recovery of these oaks.

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Culturally-modified Indian-era oaks respond to fire mimicry

15 11 2019

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Five years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on a grove of ancient, Indian-era coast live oaks that have clear signs of being culturally modified (ie. pollarded). This past week I checked on the status of these oaks and the entire grove continues to show strong improvement in canopy density and greenness. And in an area of rapidly spreading Sudden Oak Death, none of these trees have contracted this disease.

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Ancient oaks on Big Sur respond to fire mimicry

12 11 2019

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Last year I began fire mimicry treatments on a large grove of ancient coast live oaks in Big Sur. Many of these oaks were culturally modified several hundred years ago by the Esselen Indians. Several of the largest oaks have clear signs of being pollarded, as shown in the photo below.

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Culturally modified coast live oak in Big Sur, CA.

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Surgical procedure for removing stem canker infections

30 10 2019

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I’m seeing very encouraging results from the surgical procedures I have been performing on oaks with stem canker infections. Here is a sequence of steps. The above photo is of a recent (less than one year) stem canker infection, possibly Sudden Oak Death, of a young coast live oak. The next step is to remove the infected tissue using a hand axe. The photo below shows a partial state of canker removal.

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The next photo shows the infected canker tissue entirely removed.

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Four years of fire mimicry on oaks in Piedmont, CA

21 10 2019

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in 2015 I began applying fire mimicry treatments to a grove of sick coast live oaks. Yesterday I checked on their status. Here are the photographic comparisons showing that the density and greenness of the oak canopies has increased noticeably after four years of treatments. However, two severely diseased oaks did not respond to the treatments during this period and had to be removed. Fortunately, the remaining oaks appear healthier and the prognosis for recovery is good.

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One-year fire mimicry results from Kentfield, CA

5 10 2019

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Last year I initiated fire mimicry treatments on a grove of coast live oaks in Kentfield, CA. Here are the results  . . .

Enjoy!

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Five-year results of fire mimicry on oaks in Carmel, CA – Part 2

30 09 2019

Part 2 of this post shows promising results in improving the health of an old coast live oak shown in the preceding post (Part 1) that was severely affected by a stem canker disease, possibly Sudden Oak Death, in 2014. Besides doing fire mimicry treatments I tried (experimentally, as I told the owner) a major surgical procedure that involved removing the infected tissue from the tree. The wound was then strongly cauterized and a mineral-based poultice was applied. One additional surgery to remove lingering infected tissue was done in May 2016. Here are before-and-after photos showing the initial surgical wound immediately after removal of infected tissue, but before cauterization and poultice, and the wound after 5 years.

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While it may not be apparent in the photos, the large wound is showing no sign of lingering infection and it would appear that the disease is eradicated from this critical part of the tree.

At the same time the general health of this oak, as indicated by the foliage density of its canopy, has clearly improved. The following photo shows the canopy density of the two main branches of this oak over the past 5 years. It is too soon to know whether or not this is an exceptional case. But it sure encourages me to try major surgeries on other severely diseased oaks!

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