Ancient oaks in 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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Before-and-after photos of the same oak as pictured above from a different angle.

The treatments of these coast live oaks involved several days of clearing brush and young bay laurel trees from around the oaks, followed by moss and lichen removal from the trunks, application of a limewash poultice to the trunks, and fertilization of soils with compost tea and alkaline-rich minerals.

Here are the results after just one year …

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