American Fire from Banner Mountain. Credit: YubaNet/flickr/Terry Roach

About the Hoedad Planting ReLeaf Project:

American Forests and the U.S. Forest Service are reforesting 160 acres of Tahoe National Forest with sugar pine, ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir and incense cedar to aid in restoring forests burned during the American Fire in 2013.

Global ReLeaf provides forests like this — and the communities that depend on them — with the restoration they need to thrive. Since 1990, American Forests has brought ReLeaf to forests in all 50 states and 45 countries, planting more than 45 million trees in the process.

ReLeaf Location:

Tahoe National Forest, CA

Key ReLeaf Activities:

  • Planting 30,000 trees across 160 acres
  • Restoring/Reforesting an ecosystem damaged by wildfire

Why This ReLeaf Project?

The Hoedad planting will help re-establishing a forested condition by planting trees in areas where young plantations were consumed during the American Fire. Natural conifer regeneration is not expected in these severely and moderately burned areas because of the fire’s timing and that of seed maturity. In most cases, the seed source has been consumed by the fire and there is a need to have a variety of species re-established on the site. Native conifers will be used for the planting, which entails 160 acres planted in spring 2014 in 14-foot-by-14-foot plots of land. Following the planting of young saplings, manual removal of competing vegetation will occur to ensure the younger trees reach maturity.

Why Habitat Fragmentation?

The American Fire burned several swaths through existing forests, leaving unburned sections separated. This essentially traps wildlife living within these sections, leaving them unable to search for food in areas they previously would have. The fire also impacted the habitat’s edge area, which surrounds a natural ecosystem, generally around forests. When increased, the edge area becomes disturbed or unnatural, seriously affecting the natural area for some distance in from the edge. Therefore, to increase the total amount of preferred, central habitat, filling in the areas destroyed by natural disaster is essential.

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