Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Red Car Canyon: 2008-2017 Pine Tree Defying Gravity

Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, April 28, 2017.  After more than 24 inches of rain this rain year, it would be easy to blame the rain for this skinny but apparently healthy pine tree in Red Car Canyon, near the public access easement trail down to Riverside Place.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

In fact, I thought this tree would have died last summer or been removed when the LAFD contractor did brush clearance in December.

However, while combing my files for similar photos, the tree has been in this position for a number of years. More interesting, is the ever changing landscape around the tree.  Very few native trees are growing in the canyon area.  However if you look up on the slopes, beneath the larger trees, you'll see smaller protected native California Black Walnuts and Coast Live Oaks as well as recently proposed for protection, native Blue Elderberry and Toyon.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 12, 2016.  LAFD Contractor did brush clearance and took down a large number of dead and dying trees in the canyon, but left the leaning pine tree. Its crown was still green, despite its awkward position.
Photo: Red Car Property Neighbor, December 11, 2016.  Lots of trees were taken down or trimmed back.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 9, 2016. In 26 years, I had never seen more dead and dying trees in the canyon. Trees that did not burn in last year's fire, in just a few months, had succumbed to a variety of problems amplified by the fire and 5 years of unprecedented drought.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 19, 2016.  After five years of unprecedented drought, and one month before the fire, Red Car Canyon was still green.  It's hard to comprehend that even though the fire was stopped 100' away, it toasted all many of these trees.  Even days before the fire, the canyon was green. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2015.  In 4 years of unprecedented drought, Red Car Canyon remained green.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 10, 2015.  That pile of brush was dumped almost a year earlier. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 23, 2014.  A year earlier, the bamboo and other dry brush were freshly dumped.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 21, 2013. Red Car Property neighbors and friends celebrated Make Music LA Day at the Charles Lacey Memorial.  The leaning tree is not the first one, but it's in the background (arrow pointing to it.)  Sadly, the tree at the Lacy Memorial was cut down in December 2016 by the LAFD contractors.  It was one of many that was already suffering from 5 years of extreme drought prior to the June 19, 2016 fire.
Diane Edwardson, June 15, 2012.  Green trees, dumping and the leaning tree, so what else is new?
January 15, 2010. Until 2016, the only way you could tell the difference in photos between January and June, was the color of the grass.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 10, 2009.  The leaning tree had a markedly different angle in 2009.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 6, 2008.  The trees were so dense and green, you could barely make out the leaning tree.  Clearly this has always been a favorite dumping spot since it was hidden from the  neighboring upslope homes by the dense tree canopy.