Talking Trees – October 2010

17 10 2010

The last couple months have been full of productive but grueling work tending oaks and restoring native trees and soils. I appreciate readers’ patience while I’m off working in the forests and unable to blog. Remember, if I’m not blogging that’s usually good news for the trees. Hopefully the coming rainy season will give me some respite from work and allow me time to share more results.

Speaking of the rainy season, it has begun here in Big Sur and I’ve measurements already from two (small) storm events. Watch for the October rainfall pH data in a post in early November.

My good friend Kevin Feinstein has a recent post on the masting behavior (production of bumper crops of acorns) of valley oaks. He notes that this year there has been very few (“virtually none”) acorns produced by valley oaks across the region. My observation is the same, that this is not a “mast” year. He also has some interesting observations on the frequency of valley oak masting events over the past 7 years. Please check out this and other posts at

Another good friend, photographer Jack Gescheidt who took the photo below, writes me to say:

Here before the prophets

Wow, what a trip.  We—the TreeSpirit film crew and I—entered Humboldt County the weekend of September 10-13 with strong intentions, lots of passion, crazy optimism—and our share of concerns and worries—to make, and film the making of, a new TreeSpirit photograph drawing attention to the endangered old-growth redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park.  CalTrans plans to hack into the roots of over seventy ancient redwoods to widen Hwy 101—right through the middle of the park.  (To learn details and get involved:

We PUBLICIZED our unauthorized, open-to-the-public event, and therefore expected authorities would meet and, uh, de-authorize us.  Several questions remained:

1. WHICH authorities would show: State Park rangers, CHPs, police, sheriff or mix ‘n match?

2. WHAT would they do?  Warn?  Cite?  Arrest?

3. COULD WE maintain our focus, our peaceful intention, and our luck, to make a photograph dramatically illustrating our reverence for these magnificent tall trees, some 1,000, some 2,000 years old?

To answer the first two questions, authorities DID arrive at our meeting place, just minutes after our group assembled.

Over fifty treehuggers strong, we were warned that if we proceeded with our simple plan to be naked with trees in a state park for a few minutes, we would be in violation of two park ordinances.

Scroll down to find the answer to third question—and the new TreeSpirit photograph, “Here Before The Prophets.”

We were challenged, but also blessed that morning.  The park rangers were intent on keeping the peace, but also sensed, perhaps, that we shared a common goal of protecting ancient trees.  The full (i.e., long) account of what happened that Sunday, Sept. 12th morning is on the TreeSpirit Project blog:

Come see the story behind this photoon film!at our Oct. 21st “Seed-to-Spirit Gala fundraising party!

I’ll see you there!

I’ve always been impressed by the passion and quality that Jack puts into his art. He is truly someone who has found his calling. I encourage readers to check out his work at




One response

7 01 2011
Indigo Surveys

I imagine that the generic image that people have of those who work with trees, promote trees, like trees etc., is exactly as shown in the photo above..!!

Apart from that, a very interesting article with some good insight into additional research areas, thanks again.

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