Friday, June 7, 2013

Mid-Canyon Forest

Here are the photos of the big mixed native/eucalyptus grove across Claremont from Restoration site 29.

UPDATE: I was pressed for time when I originally published these photos. I am now adding some context and commentary.

Eucalyptus are poison to the native soil microbes. This toxicity, combined with the dense leaf, bark, and branch litter suppresses growth around the trees. However, the sparse canopy allows plenty of light to penetrate to the floor. With no rivals, poison oak dominates.
Poison oak thrives under eucalyptus
Note the bark in the upper left corner. It is already 20 feet in the air. Imagine where it is is going to end up when the diablo winds blow, and the canyon catches fire. That bark, or the tons more like it can be ignited and blown for miles by a fire in the canyon.

Fuel ladders to canopy are everywhere

These are regrowth from cut sprouts. It doesn't take long before there base looks like a bonfire ready to be set.
Young eucalyptus sprouts pile bark and tinder at their base

This is part of the target area for UC Berkeley.

Compare these pictures with restoration site 29.

Please send your comments to FEMA before June 17, supporting the restoration plan.