Fire-safe = Groundwater-wise!
Thinning your native vegetation for fire safety actually benefits groundwater production!
California is likely entering an extended drought once again. Already, we are in a collective use drought- as everyone has been home for the past year! Forest stewardship is in our best interest. Best management practices (BMP) can encourage groundwater production and are the backbone of the new watershed regulations. We might as well be in front of the eight ball. Here is our Central Regional Water Quality Control Board’s BMP link- http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/board_decisions/adopted_orders/general_orders/r5-2015-0113.pdf
There is little time in the year to thin your parcel to 30-40 trees per acre before it’s too warm. Maintain diversity- in species and in canopy height. Consider the light needs for your dominant tree species- for example- blue oaks bask in open sunshine and grow slowly. Hence, blue oaks love lots of space and light. Identify unhealthy trees. Leave snags and healthy trees.
By maintaining a diversity in spacing, species, and canopy height, you can improve local groundwater storage. Call or text to chat about your forest heath. 530.210.9508
To reduce beetle infestations, prune your Oak and Pine trees during freezing temperatures. You can also help your native trees fend off pine or oak beetle infestations by building your soil biology! The beetles wreak havoc when the trees don’t have the resources they need to fight back. Improving your soil biology with targeted compost extracts will give your trees the biological tools they need to remain healthy. Granted, the best way to manage these pests is preventative. However, many of our forested areas have been undermanaged for decades. Building your soil biology is the best bet. Contact Sprouting Soil for more information.
Our Forest Floor
Paul Stamets, a mycologist, shared a few ecological gems. Bees use fungi mycelium to boost their immune system. Bees also feed off yeasts and molds that grow in undisturbed forest duff. Tumbling Creek Farms shared how the use of native wood chips contributes to mushroom, mold, and yeast cultivation!
Turns out that both a healthy forest floor and wood chips on bare ground encourage groundwater retention! I love it when independent discussions of environmental health point to ecological balance. Hope to see you at the conference in 2017.
Spring is nearly here! Get your pruning done. Chip up the last of your chainsaw work. Mulch your bare spots. Have a beer by the barbeque after a satisfying day working on your land:)