Living with fire: The fire ecology of the Central Coast

28 11 2018

On Thursday, December 6, 2018 I’ll be presenting and discussing the fire ecology of the Central Coast at the Santa Cruz Public Library (224 Church St.) starting at 6:30 pm. Topics will include the California native people’s use of fire in land management, modern fire regimes, fire mimicry, and the role of climate change. For more information on this free event see:

Big Sur 2008 fire


Sudden Oak Life talk and discussion on October 13, 2018

21 09 2018

For those of you interested in learning more about an ecological vs. pathological approach to Sudden Oak Death, please attend my talk and discussion on Saturday, October 13, 2018, 10 – 12 noon at Lyngso Garden Materials, San Carlos, CA. The talk is free but you must register at:


Announcing “Sudden Oak Life: The Science & Practice of Forest Restoration”, a training course sponsored by Gaia University

14 02 2018

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Please let me share with you an important announcement! As you may know for over 10 years I have been working with a committed group of people to heal sick trees using a technique called fire mimicry, which is based on traditional approaches to land and tree care by indigenous peoples. Thankfully, our efforts have resulted in a rapid and strong recovery of many hundreds of oaks and other trees, as documented here at the Sudden Oak Life website (

Still, there are countless more trees that need our help, requiring more practitioners who are called to heal these trees. Through the years I have been encouraged to establish a training program for new professionals to implement this work over wider areas. Well, that day has come.

I’m pleased to announce the establishment of my course “Sudden Oak Life: The Science and Practice of Forest Restoration” sponsored by Gaia University, beginning March 21, 2018. This course is designed to give folks the knowledge and skills to establish or expand their own practice of tending and healing trees. Details and registration can be found here:

The course consists of both an online portion (March 21 – June 11, 2018) and a 5-day hands-on practicum (Oct. 15 – 19, 2018), which will be held in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains in the Central California coastal ecosystem.

Whether or not you are personally interested in this course I would greatly appreciate your efforts to share this post with your nature-minded friends.

Many Kind Thanks,

Lee Klinger, Big Sur, CA

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Sudden Oak Life workshop hosted by UCSC Arboretum on March 3, 2018

30 01 2018

I’ll be presenting a Sudden Oak Life workshop at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum on Saturday, March 3, 10 am – 4 pm. Come learn the practice of healing oaks. It’s a hands-on workshop! Details are here:

UCSC workshop flyer

Upcoming talk – “The cultural modification of trees and forests by California’s Native Peoples”

4 11 2017
CMT madrone

Culturally modified madrone tree in Big Sur, CA

In January 2018 I will be giving a talk “The cultural modification of trees and forests by California’s Native Peoples“, co-sponsored by the Sempervirens Fund and REI. Details of the talk are here. The talk is free but you will need to sign up through Eventbrite. Hope to see you there!


Sudden Oak Life workshops – March & April 2012

19 03 2012

For those who are interested in learning about the latest science and findings regarding the use of fire mimicry techniques to address issues of oak health, you are welcome to attend one of these upcoming workshops in the Bay area:

Thursday, March 29, 2012 – 7 to 10 pm – Oakland, CA. More info here:

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 – 5 to 7 pm – Mountain View, CA. More info here:

Saturday, April 28, 2012 – 1:30 to 3 pm – Redwood City, CA. More info here:

Please feel welcome to come learn and participate in these discussions.


Sudden Oak Life workshop at Sienna Ranch on Oct. 23

28 09 2011

Sienna Ranch, Lafayette, CA

Sudden Oak Life Workshop

Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011

Times: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm (free), 1 to 4 pm ($40)

Location: Sienna Ranch, 3232 Deer Hill Rd., Lafayette, CA

Contact: Lindsay Daley (707-889-3744)

Learn how to improve and restore the health of the oak ecosystem in this enlivening workshop with “Sudden Oak Life” oak tree expert and scientist, Dr. Lee Klinger.

For thousands of years the native California people tended oak forests and other food-producing ecosystems using prescribed fire and other methods of traditional land management. Now-a-days, with the suppression of fires, oaks and other trees are experiencing accelerated rates of decline in many parts of California, as witnessed by spread of epidemics such as sudden oak death.

Join Dr. Klinger as he demonstrates various “fire mimicry” methods to help the oak ecosystem flourish. Demonstrations will include a variety of practical, hands-on techniques, and we will treat several grandmother valley and live oaks on the ranch. All treatment methods are organic, and no synthetic chemicals are used. Details will be presented on how fires and fire mimicry methods act to improve the fertility of soils and the health of trees, and results will be shown of case studies involving a suite of techniques and natural products to restore oak trees.

Lee Klinger, MA PhD is an independent scientist and ecological consultant from Big Sur, CA with over 25 years of professional experience and over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of biogeochemistry, forest ecology, and soil science. Dr. Klinger has worked as a staff scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, and has held scholarly appointments at the University of Colorado, the University of Oxford, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.