Section of Sequoia Crest burned so hot that it will need help to regenerate
About 125 volunteers recently turned out to help plant trees in an area of the giant sequoia range hit hard by the Castle Fire in 2020. The Sequoia Crest community effort was organized by the Porterville Rotary Club and supported by American Forests and the Sequoia National Forest.
The Sequoia Crest community, which sits right next to the League’s Alder Creek property, was hit hard in the Castle Fire. Only about 50 of the community’s 105 homes survived, and several mature giant sequoias were killed in sections of high-severity fire. The fire burned through this part of the grove at a severity that destroyed many of the existing seed bank, preventing natural new growth.
Other entities that helped out included CAL FIRE, the Tulare County Sherriff’s Office, and Porterville College. Save the Redwoods League provided use of our property for staging seedlings and parking, and Tim Borden, our sequoia restoration and stewardship manager, helped put seedlings in the ground.
“It was a beautiful gathering of people who have grown up in these groves and have known them their whole lives. It’s important to them they come back strong,” said Borden. “Our hope is a lot of these seedlings will grow to replace the old trees killed in the fire.”
Volunteers planted giant sequoia, white fir, sugar pine, and ponderosa pine. Some additional planting also took place in a section of Alder Creek grove overseen by the National Forest Service.
The Castle Fire also caused major damage to giant sequoias on the League’s property, where the League has begun a recovery regimen in areas where high-severity fire resulted in substantial sequoia mortality.