105 Photos - Jun 14, 2013
Photo: The merry-go-roundPhoto: The parking lot.Photo: The bathroomsPhoto: The path from the parking lot into the grove on the hill.Photo: A closer viewPhoto: Eucalyptus and pine behind the bathroomsPhoto: Stump by the pathPhoto: Eucalyptus earned the nickname 'widow maker', Because they shed their branches, as well as their bark.Photo: This is what the forest floor of eucalyptus grove looks like after thinning and removing of the litter.Photo: The eucalyptus sprouts in this picture will be 30' tall in 5 years. As you can see by the area next to the clear floor, the ground fuels accumulate very rapidly under eucalypti.Photo: Here is the native forest on the other side of the hill.Photo: See the bark suspended in the poison oak bush?Photo: A modest amount of litter.Photo: Eucalyptus canopy is thin, letting a great deal of light through to the forest floor. Unfortunately, it poisons the native soil microbes, disrupting the soil ecology. These conditions combine to suppress most native plant growth, except for poison oak. It thrives in the partial light, with no competition,  all safely wrapped up in eucalyptus bark.Photo: Photo: Eucalyptus shedding bark.Photo: Eucalyptus surrounded by poison oak.Photo: Dropped branch.Photo: Partially thinned and cleared area.Photo: Poison oak, choking out a coast live oak seedling under a eucalyptus.Photo: Eucalyptus pushing back the native woodland.Photo: Here we can see the native seed bank awakening now that the thick eucalyptus litter has been removed. Unfortunately, all these plants will be stunted, due to the poor soil biology.Photo: An oak seedling.Photo: A small oak under siege.Photo: Another scraggly oak.Photo: Oak tree being choked out by poison oak.Photo: Oak sapling with eucalyptus bark hanging in it's canopy.Photo: Another oak sapling wearing eucalyptus bark.Photo: These young oaks would not be so stunted if the eucalyptus were not oppressing them.Photo: Another widow maker.Photo: We don't need to wander far from the parking lot to find unmaintained eucalyptusPhoto: This area has ground fuel and ladder in place.Photo: Oak seedling and sticky monkey flowerPhoto: This and other sticky monkey flower I have seen under eucalyptus the past few days looks like this bunch. While everywhere else, it is in full blossom.Photo: The parking lot is in the back ground. This area has not been made fire safe.Photo: Doesn't take long for the litter to build up. Maintaining just the developed areas is a year round job.
Imagine doing it for hundreds of acres of forest!Photo: Eucalyptus make native oaks and bays more fire prone.Photo: Those are tall trees in the background ar teenagers.Photo: The interface between eucalyptus native woodlandPhoto: View from the native side of the battle front.Photo: Alien landscape.Photo: Greener, moister, and cooler, in the stunted native growth at the edge of the grove.Photo: All mosses are native. They only grow in native conditions. Like most other natives, mosses are noticeably absent within the eucalyptus allelopathic zone.Photo: Managed eucalyptus grove: this one will need to be thinned again and again, every few years.Photo: Poison oak and bull thistle.Photo: Thinned and scraped.Photo: Invasive annuals are everywhere. Even in the best maintained areas of the park.Photo: The picnic area with the eucalyptus limbed, thinned, and the debris scraped up.Photo: West coast manzanita next to coast redwoods.Photo: IMO, we could remove most of the eucalyptus, allow the natives to fill in, then remove the rest in 5 to 10 years.Photo: Stunted oak sapling.Photo: Remove the eucalyptus and cage the oak for a few years, to protect it from deer. With SOD, we need to save as many young oaks as we can.Photo: Bay next to eucalytus.Photo: More thinning, and the natives would not be quite as stunted.Photo: Managed eucalyptus sites require continued management that fails to limit the possibility of a catastrophic fire.Photo: I call this, "Thinned, limbed, and scraped." Reasonable, perhaps, for cleaning up a picnic area. Not practical and incredibly environmentally destructive for an entire forest.Photo: Removing all the eucalyptus trees growing with the natives would allow the native woodland to expand closer. Eventually, all the eucalyptus can be removed without denuding the landscape.Photo: Eucalyptus trees have sparse canopies.Photo: These trees are good candidates for removal.Photo: There is a riparian woodland, under those trees, waiting to be liberated.Photo: Here is the other side, young oaks. The green here is primarily native blackberry, as opposed to poison oak.Photo: Compare this maintained oak floor, to the eucalyptus floor.
The oak is without question easier to keep fire safe. I would argue it much more attractive as well.Photo: Pine amongst the oaks.Photo: This is only a native buffer zone between the picnic table and the eucalyptus forest just beyond.Photo: Redwood trees next to the oaks.Photo: Right side native, left side invaded.Photo: Photo: This is down into a ravine. Thin, limb, and scrape every five years would, difficult, expensive, and would  devastate the environment.Photo: Eradicating the eucalyptus would leave the far more manageable riparian woodland in place.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: This picture shows how narrow the buffer between the eucalyptus grove and the nice picnic area under the oaks.Photo: Photo: The standard ground cover under eucalyptus, poison oak and tree litter.Photo: Redwood grove across the street.Photo: Native trees.Photo: This is the grove behind the picnic area.Photo: This grove has yet to thinned, limbed,  and scraped this year.Photo: What a nice mono-crop of poison oak growing under the canopy. This area has been thinned, limbed, and  scraped in the past.Photo: It is probably due for it's semi-decadal thinning, limping, and scraping.Photo: The poison oak dominates.Photo: There is some botanical variety at the edge of the grove.Photo: Here at the edge of the allelopathic zone, we find the native blackberry competing with poison oak.Photo: You never see this kind of richness and diversity of life under eucalyptus.Photo: The native buffer zone ground floor.Photo: See the eucalypti beyond the buffer.Photo: The battle front.Photo: Photo: This tiny strip of native woods is under assault by the invaders behind them.Photo: A mighty oak holds the point.Photo: The giants in the background threaten.Photo: Photo: Bark and debris soften our defenders, cutting off vital supply lines.
Native microbes, part of the soil ecosystem are being poisoned, preparing the ground for new eucalypti to grow.Photo: The invader in the van. This eucalyptus will eventually kill everything but the stunted trees and poison oak.Photo: ThePhoto: Photo: Evidence of some removal of eucalyptus.Photo: Photo: Photo: There is a choice to made here.
The most sustainable solution is eradication. Eradication should be the long range goal of any mitigation strategy.Photo: This is nearby area it appears the eucalyptus have been eradicated.Photo: Photo: