Cypress Dropped at Robertson House
Probably 100 years ago, the Melin family at the Robertson House planted Monterey Cypress. Over the years, they suffer from the heat and dry climate of the interior habitats, mostly occupied by blue oak and other drought tolerant species. Monterey cypress generally are restricted to areas with frequent fog, mostly near the coast. As they have died, they became dangerous. One huge tree at the corner of the Robertson House was cut down about 10 years ago when it began to lift the corner of the house. That stump is about 50" in diameter.
About 10 large trees near the Robertson House had died and presented a serious fire danger to the housing area. As massive fuel sources, soaring well above the roads and houses, if they were to burn, approach or flight from the Robertson House would be impossible. So, about 2 years ago, Jaime Del Valle, our reserve steward, began to negotiate with the USFS. The Los Padres National Forest has a certification program for "fallers" or specialists (often associated with fighting fires) who can drop large trees safely. They took these trees on as a training and certification opportunity. With great skill, they dropped 5 trees growing near the old chicken coop without damaging it at all. The other trees, in a row above the Roberson House, were also safely dropped.
Now that they are down, Jaime is lining up the CDF Gabilan crew to spend a day cutting the limbs and making piles that can be safely burned on the ground in the next month or so. Here are some before and after pictures.