Happy Earth Day 2018!

22 04 2018

Happy Earth Day from Sudden Oak Life! A hopeful message from the oaks . . .

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Declining oaks in Marin respond to fire mimicry

20 04 2018

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As you may know many of the coast live oaks in Marin County, California are in severe decline. Here are examples of two oaks in Marin County, one in Mill Valley and the other in Larkspur, which were seriously ill upon my initial inspection. The oak in Larkspur was infected with a stem canker disease (probably Sudden Oak Death). Both trees have received fire mimicry treatments for several years, and the owners are pretty happy with the results.

With all the talk of exotic diseases, insect pests, and climate change being the main culprits of forest decline in California and elsewhere, here I show evidence that the real problem is that we are no longer tending our trees. In the words of M. Kat Anderson – “nature misses us”. Solutions are at hand, and they are not difficult to implement.

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Fire mimicry results from Mill Valley and Los Altos, CA

8 03 2018

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The first two photo sets above are of an oak in Mill Valley, CA that I began treating 5 years ago using fire mimicry. This oak has made significant improvement, as was already documented two years ago here.

The photo sets below are of three coast live oaks, and two coast redwood trees first treated with fire mimicry last year (2017). The first of the series shows a young coast live oak that has lost some leaf density in its canopy. This is an atypical result which may be corrected with further treatments. The other photos sets show an ancient, Native American-era coast live oak that is showing significant improvement in canopy density in just one year. Another mature coast live oak, despite having a major limb removed, is showing slight improvement. And two coast redwood trees are also showing slight improvement in just one year.

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Portola Valley oaks respond quickly to fire mimicry

1 03 2018
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Culturally-modified, Native American-era oak showing rapid improvement after fire mimicry.

Last February (2017) I treated and photographed 25 coast live oaks in Portola Valley using fire mimicry practices. A couple days ago I revisited the site and re-photographed the oaks to assess their response. The results show noticeable improvements in the density and greenness of the canopies of most of the treated oaks in just one year. This is becoming a common finding in many of the case studies – that the positive response of the oaks to fire mimicry appears to be rapid.

These results are part of a significant body of evidence showing that oaks and other trees can be brought back to health using fairly simple methods that mimic the effects of fire. If you care to learn more about these methods, please enroll in my upcoming course, “Sudden Oak Life: The Science and Practice of Forest Restoration”.

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Surgical procedure for Sudden Oak Death

22 02 2018

Yesterday I worked on several coast live oak trees on a property here in Big Sur, where  some of the oaks have been infected with a stem canker infection, probably Sudden Oak Death. The incidence of Sudden Oak Death had increased dramatically here in Big Sur, likely a result of the previous (2017) winter’s extreme wetness. In fact, five severely infected oaks were removed from this same property the previous day. The owner has decide on a new course of action and has employed my services, which involve fire mimicry treatments to his oaks. In addition to these treatments, I performed several surgical procedures to remove the stem canker infections. Here are a series of photos from one such procedure.

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Infection prior to surgery, with disinfected tools and tarps to collect infected tissue.

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Removing stem canker infection with axe. Read the rest of this entry »





Announcing “Sudden Oak Life: The Science & Practice of Forest Restoration”, a training course sponsored by Gaia University

14 02 2018

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Please let me share with you an important announcement! As you may know for over 10 years I have been working with a committed group of people to heal sick trees using a technique called fire mimicry, which is based on traditional approaches to land and tree care by indigenous peoples. Thankfully, our efforts have resulted in a rapid and strong recovery of many hundreds of oaks and other trees, as documented here at the Sudden Oak Life website (www.suddenoaklife.org).

Still, there are countless more trees that need our help, requiring more practitioners who are called to heal these trees. Through the years I have been encouraged to establish a training program for new professionals to implement this work over wider areas. Well, that day has come.

I’m pleased to announce the establishment of my course “Sudden Oak Life: The Science and Practice of Forest Restoration” sponsored by Gaia University, beginning March 21, 2018. This course is designed to give folks the knowledge and skills to establish or expand their own practice of tending and healing trees. Details and registration can be found here: http://gaiauniversity.org/sol/

The course consists of both an online portion (March 21 – June 11, 2018) and a 5-day hands-on practicum (Oct. 15 – 19, 2018), which will be held in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains in the Central California coastal ecosystem.

Whether or not you are personally interested in this course I would greatly appreciate your efforts to share this post with your nature-minded friends.

Many Kind Thanks,

Lee Klinger, Big Sur, CA

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Sudden Oak Life workshop hosted by UCSC Arboretum on March 3, 2018

30 01 2018

I’ll be presenting a Sudden Oak Life workshop at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum on Saturday, March 3, 10 am – 4 pm. Come learn the practice of healing oaks. It’s a hands-on workshop! Details are here: https://arboretum.ucsc.edu/news-events/events/sudden-oak-life.html

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