Serving our community
since 1917
Montecito Fire Protection District
Fire Danger - Moderate

Trees Covered in Mud Susceptible to Suffocation

By Jackie Jenkins
Feb 26, 2018 at 03:39 PM

The catastrophic 1/9 Debris Flow has left a layer of mud ranging from several inches to several feet deep in many locations of the Montecito community. Beyond the physical damage caused by the storm, native oaks, sycamores and other trees in the Montecito area are being suffocated by layers of mud. Trees “breathe” though their root systems. When mud, soil or sediment is deposited over the existing root system, it reduces the oxygen supply to the tree.

In collaboration with CalFIRE, the Montecito Fire Protection District and local arborists, the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management developed an informational handout titled “Tree Health and Safety Following the 1/9 Debris Flow Event.” This document provides information on the impacts to local trees and what residents and property owners can do to help. The handout is available on www.ReadySBC.org and is accompanied by a visual diagram of tree health and safety.

The local oak trees in the Montecito area are recognized for the historical value and importance they hold to the community.  In addition, a dead or dying urban forest will increase the risk of wildfire spread across the Central Coast. Residents and property owners are asked to help save our trees and keep them healthy for many years to come.

The catastrophic 1/9 Debris Flow has left a layer of mud ranging from several inches to several feet deep in many locations of the Montecito community. Beyond the physical damage caused by the storm, native oaks, sycamores and other trees in the Montecito area are being suffocated by layers of mud. Trees “breathe” though their root systems. When mud, soil or sediment is deposited over the existing root system, it reduces the oxygen supply to the tree.

Trees Covered in Mud Susceptible to Suffocation

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