Grandmother oak 4-year update

5 03 2021

Fours years ago we began fire mimicry treatments on an ancient, Ohlone-era coast live oak near Loma Mar, CA. Affectionately called Grandmother oak by the owners, she measures 17′ 8″ in circumference and is likely more than 500 years old. We started by clearing away the woody understory, removing nearby young firs and bays, and pruning off the dead lower limbs. Then we fertilized with compost tea and alkaline-rich minerals, and applied a limewash to the trunk. We repeated the fertilization treatments for two additional years. Above and below are photos showing how Grandmother oak has responded to care we gave her. She sure seems happier and more vibrant to me!

3-year update on surgical procedure for Sudden Oak Death

22 02 2021
surgery-prep copy

Three years ago I came across a coast live oak in Big Sur with two stem canker infections, probably Sudden Oak Death. The above photo shows one of the infections prior to treatment. In the original post two years ago “Surgical procedure for Sudden Oak Death” I showed the suite of steps involved in removing, cauterizing, and poulticing the stem canker infection. This oak has also received fire mimicry treatments, which involve moss and lichen removal, along with applications of compost tea, soil minerals, and limewash. Below are the results after two years. While the wound it darkened due to the cauterization, it is clear to me that upon careful inspection both wounds are showing rapid healing and no sign of infection remains. The final photo set shows that the canopy of the oak is denser and lusher than prior to treatment.

Atherton oaks on the mend …

14 02 2021

Happy Valentines Day! A little over 2 years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on three sick heritage oaks in Atherton, CA. The third oak in this series has a severe stem canker infection, probably Sudden Oak Death, that was surgically treated. Here are the results showing a noticeable improvement in the density of the oak canopies.

Indian Canyon oak

7 02 2021

Today I joined Santa Cruz Permaculture in teaching a fire mimicry workshop at Indian Canyon. Kanyon Sayers-Roods of the Mutsun Costanoan Ohlone joined us to share her wisdom and recount the history of this rare, federally-recognized Indian land in Central California. Above is a photo set of an oak at Indian Canyon that we have treated with fire mimicry for the pat two years.

Oaks in Monterey, CA respond to fire mimicry

1 01 2021

Three years ago I began fire mimicry treatments on a grove of very sick coast live oaks in Monterey, CA. the photos (above and below) indicate that most of the oaks have responded nicely, showing improvement in canopy density and lushness. Note that one severely diseased oak below (Case No. 20171202.6) had a surgery and cauterization procedure that appears to have been successful. At least for these trees, 2020 has ended on a positive note!

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Video recording of “Forest restoration theory and practice based on Indigenous cultural tending”

17 11 2020

Here a Youtube video of my recent lecture and discussion in the course FORESTS, hosted by the Humanities Center of Texas Tech University. Many thanks to Bruce Clarke and Michael Borshuk for facilitating this talk!

Upcoming zoom lecture (Thursday, Nov. 12) – “Forest restoration theory and practice based on Indigenous cultural tending”

7 11 2020

This Thursday, November 12, (5:30 pm Pacific Time) I will be conducting a zoom lecture and discussion for the online course FORESTS, hosted by Texas Tech University, on the topic of “Forest Restoration Theory and Practice Based on Indigenous Cultural Tending”. The points I will be addressing are: Gaia theory, ecological succession, fire ecology of California, evidence of cultural modification of trees and landscapes, and approaches to forest restoration. The lecture is open to all, just be sure to register beforehand. Follow the embedded link to register.

Fire mimicry results with oaks in Novato, CA

2 11 2020

The above coast live oak is a ~500 year old coast live oak that was clearly pollarded by resident Coast Miwok people. I recently inspected this and several other coast live oaks treated with fire mimicry in February of 2019. Due to the difference in time of year of the photos these results are not exact comparisons. Still, significant improvement in canopy density and lushness is apparent in all the oaks, except for the untreated (control) oak shown in the final image.

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Fire mimicry results from Piedmont, CA

19 10 2020

Here are some recent results from a grove of mature coast live oaks in Piedmont, CA treated with fire mimicry for the past 5 years. Most of the oaks are showing lusher, greener canopies, although one oak (shown below) has succumb to Sudden Oak Death. The remaining oaks have no sign of disease.

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Oaks in Pacific Grove, CA respond to fire mimicry

2 10 2020

Two years ago I treated 21 coast live oaks with fire mimicry at Canterbury Woods, a senior retirement center in Pacific Grove, CA. Today I inspected the oaks and re-photographed them. Here are the results. Most of the oaks appear to have a denser canopy after two years. Please take a careful look at the photos and judge for yourself.

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