CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KRON) – More than 1,000 acres of trees are dead or dying in East Bay regional parks.
The cause is still unknown, but officials believe it’s likely due to the lack of rainfall and the drought.
Some of the trees at Anthony Chabot, Reinhardt Redwood Regional and Tilden Park are dead or dying and have been since October.
“Very dramatic in the fall, and very unusual so we started looking at that more carefully trying to figure out what was wrong,” said U.S. Forest Service Susan Frankel.
U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire, and UC Berkeley have been working with East Bay Regional Parks to determine what is causing the trees to die.
They believe it is likely due to the drought, the lack of rainfall, trees not getting enough water.
“Really, we are seeing these changes in the Bay Area ecosystems that we’ve never seen before,” Frankel said.
The plan is to remove at least 200 of them just on Thursday alone.
The impact of these dead and dying trees on wildfire risk is huge because these trees have the ability to burn hotter and faster, and their embers can travel far and could reach nearby homes.
“You know, trees can’t move. They can’t run. And if they don’t have water, they really just shut down, so we are trying to find out if there is other fungi involved, insects, or if it’s really just the physiological limits of the trees have been exceeded,” Frankel said.