Aspen Grove, San Bernardino National Forest (10/12/13) Lisa Wilkerson-Willis
A grove of California Aspen near Big Bear in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, listed as one of only two naturally-occurring aspen groves in Southern California, will recover from this past year’s Summer’s Lake fire in a couple of years, according to a report in Big Bear Today.
The article quotes Steve Alarid of the USDA Forest Service who predicts that, “Aspens are going to dominate this area for the next 50 year,” because the entire forest was incinerated.
Alarid was quoted as saying that both pine and aspen have coexisted in Southern California since the Ice Age, “in deep canyons where cooler air settles…” and where there are, “…creeks flowing nearby.”
For the aspen, however, “shade” was their biggest enemy, but now that the surrounding pine forest was consumed, the aspen whose root system is intact will flourish.
Already, juvenile aspen stems are seen sticking up out of the charcoal forest floor at “Aspen Grove,” and that color will begin to reemerge in two years,”their green presence in the Moon-like landscape is a welcome reminder that popular Aspen Grove, closed for the next year or so after the inferno, will be back,” Alarid said.
Willows are also recovering quickly. Big Bear Today reported that some willow shoots, “are six feet high already.”