Tree Blog

Quercus cerris | Oakland

Unusual oaks can be found in many nooks and crannies of California, particularly urban areas. There is a large set of Q. cerris surrounding Lake Merritt in Oakland, which appear to be nearly a century old. Over the years they have received some lawn irrigation. For scale, please note the person standing next to the tree. Upon last visit, the trees appeared to be in rapid decline, showing signs of extreme salt toxicity. It appears there was an irrigation switch to “recycled water”, which contains elevated salts from soaps, laundries and detergents. This appears to be killing the trees, as is quite typical when “recycled water” is applied to landscapes. The scientific failure of “recycled water” is a modern urban forest tragedy.

Dave Muffly