Invasive Species and Wildfire

Virtually all of the world’s habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate. Biodiversity is plummeting, due in large part to anthropocentric habitat destruction; but increasingly frequent wildfires, climate change and pollution take their toll on the world’s habitats as well. Nevertheless, one of the most insidious, yet underappreciated, threats to natural areas is the introduction…


Tending Trees in Fire-Prone Areas

No matter how natural recurrent fires are, it is hard to appreciate Mother Nature’s majesty while watching your worldly belongings burn to a crisp. Do not wait idly while politicians and professors debate policies for managing wildfires; instead, take proactive steps to help protect your home and family. In addition to keeping potential fuels at…


Serotinous Survival Strategies

Over the millennia, plants and trees native to fire-prone regions have evolved a number of adaptations that allow them to persist in these challenging habitats. Some plants have subterranean rhizomes that rapidly regenerate the aboveground portion of the plant after it burns in a fire. Others produce seeds that lie dormant until exposed to fire,…


The Subtleties of California Wildfire

Wildfire is a natural, but destructive, component of many natural ecosystems. In California, wildfires are a complicated issue: On one hand, periodic wildfires are unavoidable and necessary for the perpetuation of some ecosystems. On the other hand, wildfires cause unthinkable damage and threaten lives. The complexity of the issue balloons even further once competing human…


Trees, Jobs and the Economy

It is abundantly clear that trees help people to feel good, heal fast, keep cool and stay safe; but can they help the bottom line? According to the available evidence, trees are unquestionably good for reducing costs and increasing profits. In fact, because of the perpetually warm temperatures of Southern California, Los Angeles area merchants…


Shade Trees on the Playground

Over the last decade or so, educators, parents and doctors have begun strenuously emphasizing the need for children to get outside and play. Often, the driving force is obesity prevention, but children also benefit psychologically from spending time outdoors. The Problem with Good Intentions There is a small problem with this goal. Increased time spent…