12.5 Million Dead Trees in California

CALIFORNIA — In a survey conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, they found the severe drought in California has caused the death of over 12 million trees.

California is in its third year of drought. In 2014, a large increase in tree mortality was observed, especially in the Central Coast and Southern Sierra Ranges. Ground observations noted a continued increase in mortality after the 2014 surveys were flown in July. Early season aerial surveys were conducted in the spring of 2015 in response to the continuing drought and the resulting tree mortality. Another early survey over portions of Southern California was flown the week of April 6th.
• More than 4.1 million acres were surveyed; covering western portions of Stanislaus, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and Yosemite and Sequoia – Kings Canyon National Parks. The Tehachapi Range and nearby private lands were also surveyed.
• In general mortality was quite severe in many pine species especially in ponderosa and pinyon at lower elevations and more southern areas.
• Along thefoothills mortality was often widespread and severe especially in ponderosa but also gray pine and likely blue and live oak. It unknown if the oaks that were mapped were truly dead or had died back/defoliated due to the drought.
• On the Stanislaus, mortality was scattered in northern areas, but pockets of severe ponderosa and other pine mortality were seen in the  southern low areas. Mortality roughly doubled since July 2014 in the areas of the Stanislaus that were resurveyed this spring.
• At higher elevations conifer mortality was scattered. The survey was too early to detect full extent of mortality levels and anemic levels of snow were common.
• On the Sierra and Sequoia NF pine mortality, mostly from western pine beetle, was common and severe almost everywhere at lower elevations. Estimated number of trees killed on these two Forests together exceeded 5 million. Only about 300,000 trees were estimated killed last year in the same area.
• Southeastern portions of the Sequoia NF and Wilderness areas further east were also flown and widespread, at times, intense pinyon mortality was observed.
• On the Tehachapi Range and on private lands along the foothills of the Sierras, extensive areas of pine mortality were common. Large areas of oak mortality was also suspect.
Dead Pine Trees in California

Dead Pine Trees in California

This entry was posted in Environment, Global Warming, Science, Trees and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Categories

  • Archives

Created by: Daniel Brouse and Sidd
All text, sights and sounds © BROUSE
"You must not steal nor lie nor defraud."