Lack of water brings early fall

Union Democrat staff /

Fall has arrived about a month earlier than usual because of the 2014 drought and the Mother Lode area is spotted with colors as trees go dormant to survive.

Tuolumne and Calaveras counties experienced an all-around "shift in the seasons," according to Martin MacKenzie, forest pathologist for Stanislaus National Forest.

The change has been most noticeable in blue oaks - which usually shed their leaves in September. Browning and dropping leave are also seen on other deciduous trees.

Evergreen trees, such as native pine trees, do not shed their leaves or needles.

Deciduous trees will draw water and sugars from live leaves and store the nutrients through winter and use them to nurture new bud growth when spring comes.

This process is always dependent on water, Martin said. The trees that have the strongest roots will survive and unhealthier trees will die off.

The oaks in the area are going dormant early because of the lack of water needed to draw soil nutrients and convert them to energy, he said.

The California Department of Water Resources reported the past three years have been among the driest in California history. The calendar year 2013 was the driest on record, followed directly by the lowest rainy season since 1976-77.

For the complete story, see the Aug. 20 edition of The Union Democrat.

11922959
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Thursday April 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
McPherson sentenced to 36 years in prison

04/22/2016

A man was sentenced to 36 years in state prison for sexually ... more

Dual enrollment: High school meets college

04/22/2016

It takes 60 credits to graduate with an associate’s degree from Columbia ... more

Ambulance rides on the rise in Tuolumne County

04/22/2016

Ambulance rides in Tuolumne County are expected to increase 18 percent this ... more

Jamestown teen realizes queen dream

04/26/2016

Karissa Rogers, named 2016 Mother Lode Roundup Queen on Sunday, swept the ... more

Sostock plans to pursue medicine elsewhere

04/22/2016

Lori Sostock told The Union Democrat Friday that, despite giving up her ... more