64 Photos - Jun 6, 2013
Photo: From what I have seen and photographed so far, it appears that if there is green on the ground under a eucalyptus, it is probably poison oak.Photo: The eucalyptus bark increases the native ground fuel.Photo: Guess what the shrub is?
First clue; leaves of three.Photo: Downed tree by the recently cut fire trail.Photo: Some eucalyptus stumps mixed with the trees.Photo: Removing the eucalypti (and poison oak) here would allow the bay and oak on wither side to flourish.Photo: Photo: It is the higher humidity and fog that cause the bark to come off in such large pieces.Photo: These long strips make a convenient fuel ladder to the canopy.Photo: Open native area within the eucalyptus grove. The ferns are doing wellPhoto: This is regrowth, four sprouts.Photo: This is a lone resprout. Because it is all alone, it hasn't yet killed everything below it. But note the nearby saplings. In five years they will grow 30 feet plus.Photo: Plenty of native trees here.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: There is the stunted forest, the green below the eucalyptiPhoto: Lone, young trees and resprouts, don't appear to supress the native understory. As they mature, they create a grove, that pushes out most competition.Photo: The hydra effect. This is the reason for herbicide to kill the roots. The resprouts are multiplied.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Vertically hanging bark at the base provides ample fuel to ignite the bay next to the eucalyptus.Photo: The only thing that grows well under the eucalyptus is the poison oak. The rhizomes/vines intertwine with the bark.
This mess has become habitat for many species, deprived of a better home by loss of habitat to this invasive weed.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: You can see by the floor, that these bays are under the taller eucalyptusPhoto: Photo: A piece of bark that size could smolder for hours, though is would probably come back down within a kilometer or two, depending on wind strength and how high into the air it gets lofted by 300 foot flame lengths.Photo: Native trees just waiting to be liberated.Photo: The stunted natives are doing a remarkable job of keeping most of the bark off the floor.Photo: Photo: The native floor is covered in eucalyptus duffPhoto: Photo: Along the fire trailPhoto: Thinning would mean removing the small trees, IE stunted natives and eucalyptus sprouts. This would result in a monocrop of eucalyptus and poison oak.Photo: The entire canyon can look like thisPhoto: Bays are tenacious.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Everywhere you look you see stunted native trees beneath the alien canopy.Photo: There are not as many oaks under these trees. The bays are hardier, but the oaks are there.Photo: Photo: In some places, the native trees may need to be thinned once they are liberated.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Eucalyptus, poison oak, and bay trees.Photo: poison oak thrives in the eucalyptus duff. The vines are intertwined with bark, leaves, and limbs that drop to the floor in prodigious quantities.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Note the change in the color and texture of the floor.
Can you see where the line between transition area and native?Photo: Native bay, struggling underPhoto: Native floor next to the grove in the distance. Nothing on the ground to burn, or scrape up every few years.Photo: This is the habitat provided for most invertebrates and amphibians by eucalypti. Bark and duff, intertwined with poison oak. 
Managing these unmanaged groves would require removal  of 5 tons per acre, per year, of the the little habitat provided by these trees.Photo: Photo: