Coast live oaks in Soquel, CA respond to fire mimicry

28 09 2021

Last September (2020) I treated 8 mature coast live oaks in Soquel, CA, with fire mimicry. We first pruned and cleared around the oaks, which was documented at the time in this post “Initial stages of fire mimicry in Soquel, CA”. We then spread compost tea and alkaline-rich minerals to the surrounding soils, and applied limewash to the trunks of the oaks. After one (drought) year, all 8 of the oaks are showing improvement in canopy density and lushness. Note that in Case No. 20200927.6 (below), this oak is severely infected with a stem canker disease (probably Sudden Oak Death) but is still showing a slight improvement in canopy health.

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Major stem canker surgery on an ancient coast live oak in Big Sur

21 09 2021

Today I performed a major stem canker surgery in an effort to save an Esselen-era (400+ years old) coast live oak in Big Sur. The process involved large and small axe work, power multi-tools, cauterization, and poultice. This is part of a larger protocol called fire mimicry, which includes removal of woody understory, fertilization of soils with alkaline-rich minerals + compost tea, and application of limewash to the trunk. Here’s the link to a time-lapse video of today’s surgery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEISFdAErc4