Guy Kovner, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Danny and Sky Matula have tied bright green ribbons near the base of about 50 charred Douglas fir trees standing behind the ruins of their home in the rolling hills west of Kenwood.
“They’re just toast,” Sky Matula said, as light rain fell on the ashen remains of the home his father built on the wooded 10-acre parcel adjoining Trione-Annadel State Park.
The black, denuded firs — including two that stand about 150 feet tall — are almost certainly dead, and stand far too close for comfort to the once and future family home.
The green ribbons mark them for removal by one means or another.
But like countless other homeowners, the Matulas are stuck in an uncomfortable dilemma regarding the fate of fire-scarred trees, including stout oaks and tall, slender firs, that impart majesty to their property.
Like California’s iconic redwoods, oaks are cloaked in thick, protective bark that enables several of their species to survive all but the worst wildfires, experts say.
And as homeowners begin to plot their post-fire recovery, tree advocates are urging restraint in removing burned trees and shrubs in favor of waiting at least until spring to see if fresh green growth emerges from vegetation that has adapted to survive fire.