by Carl Strang
Last fall I had a concern, which apparently I did not share in this blog, that some of the brush piles on Mayslake Forest Preserve’s savanna ridge might have been placed too close to some of the Hill’s oaks.
Last week I took a look at the oaks closest to the burn scars. For the most part they appeared unaffected by the fires. One tree did show some scorching on its bark.
That tree’s lowest branch, which had overhung the brush pile, was not completely killed, but it had only one sprig of green leaves. The other twigs apparently were dead. Otherwise, that tree had a reasonably full canopy.
I have to conclude that my concern was misplaced. There may have been some damage my eyeball assessment could not discern, but the trees all should survive. Hill’s oak is a savanna species, after all, and so must have some resistance to fire.