Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Red Car Property: Trees That Did Not Burn In June 19 Fire, Are Brown Now

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 17, 2016Two months ago, the California Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oak were thriving (very close to the site of the small 2014 fire).  The same three trees appear in all photos in this post  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, June 19, 2016. The  Silver Lake Fire blackened the hillside and cleared the weeds, but it did not burn most of the mature trees.  It didn't even burn the younger Black Walnuts, cut down and pushed down the hill a year ago.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 20, 2016.  Neighbors were surprised to see so much green on the trees the day after the fire.  Even some of the small Black Walnuts were regrowing near the ground  and tree trunks since the small October 2014 fire.
Photo: Gary Vlahakis, July 9, 2016.  Almost all of the trees on the south end pf the Red Car Property have suddenly gone brown. 

Native California trees evolved to survive our drought/fire/deluge seasons.  Turning brown is their way of conserving energy and water - sucking the green/moisture out of the leaves and back to their trunks and roots while they recover from the extreme heat of the fire.  The leaves will eventually fall and mulch the ground around the tress, but in the meantime it's a bit scary due to the high fire risk the pose.

The native trees will likely recover.  However, many non-native species on the Red Car Property, adjacent properties and the 2 Freeway were also affected.  Best advice so far: consult a licensed arborist with experience in post-fire recovery of trees and if you have them - native trees.