Minor stem canker surgery on an ancient coast live oak in Atherton, CA

6 04 2022

Yesterday I did fire mimicry treatments and a minor stem canker surgery on an ancient coast live oak in Atherton, CA. The surgery went well and the prognosis for this oak is very good. Here are photos showing the various steps and tools used for the surgical procedure …

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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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More photos showing a surgery on a stem canker infection in a coast live oak

4 04 2022

Here are a set of photos showing a surgical procedure on a coast live oak in Santa Cruz, CA infected with a stem canker disease (probably Sudden Oak Death). This is a good example of a major infection that appears minor at the surface. The surgery ended up being fairly large for a tree this size, but I do believe the oak will recover.





Photo montage of a stem canker surgery

27 03 2022

Here’s a series of photos showing the progress of a stem canker surgery I did today on a coast live oak in La Selva Beach, CA. The procedure involves canker removal with axe and power tools, cauterization, and poultice application. The prognosis is good.

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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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Sudden Oak Life event Spring 2022: Fire Mimicry and TEK at Indian Canyon (May 13-15)

11 03 2022

Indian Canyon Nation, EcoCamp Coyote, and Sudden Oak Life are collaborating again on an upcoming 3-day intensive workshop titled “Fire Mimicry and Traditional Ecological Knowledge” being held at Indian Canyon May 13-15, 2022. This event will feature Kanyon Sayers-Roods (Indian Canyon Nation, Mutsun Ohlone), Tom “Little Bear” Nason (Tribal Chairman of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County), Leo Lauchere (EcoCamp Coyote), and Lee Klinger (Sudden Oak Life). Here are some of the topics we will cover:

• How this restoration work supports and is informed by indigenous cultures and traditions

• Explore right-relationship with the land and its people

• History and shared lineages of the Esselen and Mutsun Ohlone People

• Modern cultural tending and management of Central Coast forests

• Identifying culturally modified trees and landscapes

• The science and practice of fire mimicry

• Demonstration of stem canker surgical procedure

This is a rare event and should not be missed by anyone passionate about tending oaks and other native trees. More information and registration for the event are here.





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.