Stewarding oaks with fire mimicry

19 09 2011

Last week I visited several groves of coast live oaks in the Bay area (Los Altos Hills, Woodside, and Oakland) that were treated one year ago for the first time using fire mimicry protocols. This post shows the results so far.

While Sudden Oak Death was (and still is) present in the nearby oaks, all of the oaks in the photos were uninfected with Sudden Oak Death at the time of treatment and remain uninfected after one year. As you can see most of the oaks are showing improvement in canopy density, some more than others, although a few are showing no noticeable change. The no change condition is not a poor result as it indicates that the canopy health of the oaks has not deteriorated. Also, it is not unusual for oaks to take three to five years to respond fully to the fire mimicry treatments. Still, it is encouraging to see that most of the treated oaks are experienced a noticeable flush of new growth in just the first year.

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