Things to do for landscape care:
- Fire damaged trees may survive, depending on their species, condition before the fire, and how badly they were scorched. Good indicators that a tree will survive are a green or white, moist cambium layer beneath the bark, or if most of the buds are still green, moist and flexible. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a tree will survive. In those cases, it may be worthwhile to wait until next spring.
- Sometimes the soil itself can begin to repel water to become “hydrophobic.” If water won’t soak into the ground, try loosening the soil with a rake. A thin layer of straw on top of the soil can help it absorb moisture.
- Irrigate stressed plants as soon as you can. Water the ground under trees for the full width of their drip line — the circumference of their canopy of branches — and a few feet farther. Keep watering until the soil is moist to a depth of 12-15 inches.
- Fire stressed trees are vulnerable to beetle attack. Look for pink to red colored pitch on the branches. Beetle infested trees should be cut down and removed.
- Soil erosion becomes a major concern after wildfire. Several techniques are available for controlling erosion, including reseeding, the use of a straw mulch, and felling damaged trees across a slope. Planting of conservation grasses like crested wheatgrass can also help control erosion.