Ancestor oaks show modest improvement after 2 years of fire mimicry protocol

23 05 2022

For the past two years I have been applying fire mimicry treatments to a grove of Ancestor oaks, ancient (300+ yr old) trees that have been pollarded and otherwise tended in the past by the Ohlone People for acorn production and other uses. Today, I inspected these oaks and see that most have made a modest, but noticeable improvement in canopy density, despite the current drought conditions. Please note the final photo set, which shows a neighboring oak that was not treated.

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Happy Earth Day 2022 from Big Sur, CA

22 04 2022




Long-term response to fire mimicry of cedar trees in Los Altos, CA

13 04 2022

Eleven years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on two Lebanese cedar trees in Los Altos, CA. At the time the owner had been advised by a local arborist that the cedar tree shown in the above photo was diseased and should be removed. Fortunately the owner resisted cutting down the tree and contacted me. I proposed treating this cedar (above) and another nearby cedar (below) with fire mimicry. At the time I had mainly been treating oaks and did not know if the cedars would respond in the same way. I’m happy to say that, after 11 years, the cedars are thriving!

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Five years of surgical wound recovery in a coast live oak

13 04 2022

As I’ve shown in several recent posts (here and here), results are starting to accumulate regarding the efficacy of surgeries to remove stem canker infections (including Sudden Oak Death disease) in oaks. Five years ago I performed fire mimicry treatments and a stem canker surgery on a coast live oak in Los Altos, CA. I have returned every year since to track the progress of the wound recovery, and whether any infection remained. The set of photos presented here indicate that after only 5 years the surgical wound has healed closed with no sign of further infection. I’m calling this one a win!





Fire mimicry treatment and surgery on a coast live oak in Kentfield, CA

5 04 2022

In 2018 I began fire mimicry treatments on a grove of coast live oaks in Kentfield, CA. One of the oaks started showing signs of a stem canker infection (probably Sudden Oak Death disease) in 2019. So I performed a surgical procedure to remove the canker, and have continued to treat this oak with compost tea, mineral-rich soil fertilizers, and limewash. Here are photos of the surgery and recovery of the wound and canopy. Be sure to look at the last picture of this series …

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A stem canker surgery and recovery in Big Sur, CA

4 04 2022

Several years ago I started fire mimicry treatments on a coast live oak in Big Sur, CA. The treatment included stem canker surgery, as well as soil fertilization and limewash application. Here is a set of photos showing both the surgical procedure and progress of recovery of the wound and the canopy health of the oak. Be sure to look at the final photo of this sequence!

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Bay Area oaks maintain their response to fire mimicry for many years

26 03 2022

Here are various coast live oaks that have continued to respond to fire mimicry treatments over the course of 5, 8, and 10 years. Several have been affected by stem canker disease, probably Sudden Oak Death, but all have survived and most have improved in canopy density and lushness.

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Fire mimicry responses of 20 oaks in Soquel, CA

23 03 2022

In 2019 I began fire mimicry treatments on a grove of 20 coast live oaks in Soquel, CA, including several “Ancestor” oaks (ancient oaks that were pollarded and otherwise tended by the Ohlone people). Today, I inspected and re-photographed the oaks, with the results shown here. While most of the oaks show noticeable increase in canopy density (leaf area), a few of the oaks have shown little improvement, and one oak died in 2021. Still, I continue to be encouraged by these and other results. Enjoy!

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Ancestor oaks in Aromas, CA respond to fire mimicry

15 03 2022

Two years ago the crew and I performed fire mimicry treatments, including a few surgeries for stem canker infections (probably Sudden Oak Death), on a grove of ancient coast live oaks in Aromas, CA. Several of these were pollarded “Ancestor” oaks, remnants of a vast Ohlone acorn orchard. Today I inspected the oaks and found that most of them have responded favorably to the treatments with denser and greener canopies. Here are the before-and-after photos so you can judge for yourself.

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Big Sur oak continues to flourish 4 years after canker surgery

10 03 2022

Four years ago I performed fire mimicry treatments and two canker surgeries on the above coast live oak in Big Sur. This oak was treated again two years ago. I checked on the oak yesterday and found it has completely transformed into a lush, vibrant tree. The bit of yellowing seen at the tips of the branches are thick clusters of male flowers. The two surgical wounds (below) have mostly healed shut will no remaining infection in one and a minor residual infection in the other.

Another nearby coast live oak was also treated twice with fire mimicry in the past 4 years, although did not require any surgery. Here are the results of that oak.