Drought and forests

By From page A5 | June 20, 2014


I am a registered professional forester who has lived in Placerville for over 40 years and who has seen many dry years.

After three dry years, nearly all of California is in a drought. As a result, forests are already losing some trees, more in the lower elevations.

Several native pines and oaks now have very sparse foliage. Plants drop many of their leaves to reduce water loss. Some leaves have to remain for life-giving food.

Within about a 50-mile radius of Placerville there are scattered trees that have already died in the last few months. Many areas have little or no losses at this time. However, other areas have 10 to 15 dead trees within two to three acres.

With five more months of dry weather ahead before fall, more trees will drop out. With these trees so flammable, fire danger will increase.

In the drought year of 1977, I took a photo of full fall colors of trees near Coloma on July 4, 1977; we may have fall foliage this year, too, at about the same time.


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