Variable one-year responses of birch, apple, and pine trees to fire mimicry

28 07 2016


Shown here are several birch, apple, and pine trees that were treated last year with fire mimicry. Telling from the photos it appears that the birch trees have response moderately, and the apple trees have responded significantly! The pine trees have yet to show much response. This seems to be typical of pines, which can take several years before showing visible responses (seeĀ  here and here).


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Pine, oak, and ironwood trees in Big Sur responding nicely after a decade of fire mimicry

20 07 2016

What is fire mimicry?

pine B



Coast live oak in Big Sur cured of stem canker infection using fire mimicry + surgery

18 07 2016

This is exciting news! A coast live oak in Big Sur appears to have been cured of two stem canker infections (possibly Sudden Oak Death) using fire mimicry and surgical methods. Furthermore, no new infections have occurred on this tree. While I’ve reported on the progress of other coast live oaks that have received fire mimicry and surgery (see here, here, and here), this is the first oak that I feel confident has been cured of a stem canker infection!


There is also evidence at the same site that the deep cracks forming in other coast live oaks, cracks that allow infection by stem canker disease, are healing well. And, no new cracks are forming. Published studies have shown that “the presence of unweathered bark in bark furrows, (is) positively correlated with disease (Sudden Oak Death)”. Note in the photo below that the exposed unweathered bark is healing.

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Rapid response of oak, mayten, bay laurel, and cedar trees to fire mimicry

2 07 2016


I recently inspected several cork oak, coast live oak, mayten, bay laurel, and cedar trees that I treated with fire mimicry methods in February of this year. The positive responses of these trees to the treatments after just six months are pleasantly surprising. The photos below tell the happy story . . .

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Talk on Gaia and trees for Gaia University

21 06 2016

A few weeks ago I gave a talk on “Applying Gaia theory to forest restoration”. The talk was arranged and recorded by my lovely daughter Ava Klinger, who works for Gaia University. I’m also proud to be involved with Gaia University as an external reviewer of students.

The link to talk is here. Enjoy!

AK Eklutna Clouds copy

Fairfax oaks treated with fire mimicry and canker surgery

23 05 2016


Nearly two years ago I treated several coast live oaks with fire mimicry. On three of the oaks I performed a surgical procedure to remove the stem canker infections (possibly sudden oak death). The procedure involves surgically removing the infected tissue with an axe, followed by a chisel. Lately I’ve been using a multi tool which does an excellent job at cutting infected bark and wood. Following surgery I’ve been cauterizing the wound with a propane blow torch, then applying a lime wash to the entire trunk. Below are photos of two of the surgeries two years later and I am pleased to report that the wounds are healing up nicely and there is no sign of further infection in these oaks. I would say the procedure is still experimental at this point, but I am more confident to keep trying it after seeing these results. Also below are photos depicting the surgical methods and equipment, as well as other photos sets of the oaks response to a single treatment after two years.


Surgical scar after nearly two years of healing. Note absence of any bleeding or other sign of infection. Read the rest of this entry »

A single fire mimicry treatment is not effective for longterm oak recovery

30 04 2016


I recently inspected a grove of oaks that I treated with fire mimicry methods four years ago. Two of these oaks have stem canker infections, possibly Sudden Oak Death, that were present before the oaks were treated. As the photo sets show, the oaks responded dramatically after only one year. The property owners, pleased with the results, opted to not continue treatments of their oaks despite my recommendation that the oaks receive at least three annual treatments. While some of the oaks are still showing improvement four years after the 2012 treatment, these photos demonstrate that the oaks have undergone a clear decrease in canopy density after the initial response. I believe this decline is because they did not receive followup treatments.

Consider the huge volume of soil encompassed by the roots of an oak tree. These soils have been undergoing nutrient depletion for however long its been since a fire last burned, decades, perhaps centuries ago. Reconditioning this large volume of soil by replacing lost nutrients, especially alkaline-rich minerals, takes a significant effort that requires fertilization over several years.

These results further demonstrate the efficacy of the fire mimicry approach. Not only is there a positive response when we apply these methods, there is also a negative response when we forgo these methods.

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