Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Red Car Property: California Black Walnut Fighting Back

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 18, 2015.  The once spectacular California Black Walnut Tree on the north end of the Red Car Property, sprang back to life in November.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

In July, we ran a series of photos of the same tree, from 2000 - 2015, chronicling the effects of the the past 4 years of exceptional drought on this one tree. 

Native trees have very deep root systems and have evolved with our extremes of drought and rain cycles.  After 3" of rain in one day in September, trees throughout the area perked up, sprouting leaves, even flowers, out of season.  If you look closely at the above photo, the fresh growth isn't just on the branches, there is a lot of new growth concentrated close to the trunk in the first 6' of the tree (from the ground up).  That's not a shrub, that's new growth on the tree.  Compare it with the photo below.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 2, 2015.  Prior to the 3" of rain, the tree had dropped most of its leaves, the branches were dying back, yet there were some signs of growth near the main trunk that came back after brush clearance.

California Black Walnuts are protected native trees in the City of Los Angeles.  You need a permit to remove them, even if they are dead:

City of Los Angeles: Protected Native Tree Ordinance  
City of Los Angeles: Dept of Urban Forestry 
California Drought Monitor Map