A Losing Battle

Here is an example of a dying Oregon white oak. This tree was 30 inches in diameter, and well over 150 years old. I could estimate that from old fire scars near the base of the tree. The larger Douglas-fir to the left, as well as the trees near by forming the over story, are around 55-65 years old. White oak is very shade intolerant and will die within 15-20 years after being over topped by other trees. This one had stretched its remaining limbs to the small pockets of light it had which eventually led to it falling over.

I find these skeleton oaks all throughout the Douglas-fir dominated forests from the South Fork Eel to the Mad River. I really believe we are witnessing a profound change in forest make up here in Humboldt county that is resulting from our suppression of fire and our traditional bias for conifer trees in land management.

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