Local arborist John Huddleston spoke to members of Pine Cove Property Owners Association (PCPOA) about the health of our forests and the threats posed by a variety of pests, reported PCPOA Publicist Mark Dean.
John described how different species of beetles attach to trees, and he also told members how to give trees on their property the best chance to survive beetle infestation.
Most trees have the ability to produce enough sap to protect against infestation, but because of continued drought and warmer daily temperatures, trees need help.
The first way to help is an effective layer of mulch that extends from the base of the tree to beyond the drip line. Mulch helps the soil hold water and reduces erosion.
Although this may conflict with Cal Fire guidelines for trees within 30 feet of structures, this distance is being reviewed with the intent to shorten it to 10 feet. Gravel and pavers can act as mulch for trees near buildings.
The second way to help trees is to water once a month using gray water or water from catch barrels where possible. Ideally, water should be 0.6 gallons per square foot and not at the trunk, but around the drip line and beyond. Root systems can extend far beyond the trunk, and that is where they absorb the most moisture.
John’s presentation was most informative. For many, it was the first look at vital issues effecting the health of our forests.