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Ponderosa pine recovery after fire: A photoguide

This project is designed to assist forest managers and field crews in accurately assessing post-fire crown injury and recovery in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Due to its fire-resistant properties, ponderosa pine crowns may be scorched without killing buds. This allows recovery of the tree after fire, even with very high levels of needle scorch. However, trees with thinner bark or high levels of crown kill that initially survive, may eventually die. We are developing a photoguide to describe crown injury in pondorosa pine and to document how individual tree can recover or decline after fire. 

Delayed tree mortality

Left photo: Ponderosa pine sapling with 10% crown scorch and 40% crown kill (50% total crown damage) after fire, but high levels of cambium kill at the tree base. Right photo: The tree died one year later.

Ponderosa pine recovery

Tree with 85% of the pre-fire crown volume scorched and 10% crown volume killed (95% total crown damage). Left picture: Approximately one month after wildfire. Right picture: one year post-fire.

Modified: Dec 13, 2017