Nature's Recovery
Yucca brevifolia var. herbertii


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Several years ago there was a small fire along Hwy 178 in Kern County near South Fork Valley, burning less than 1 acre. Last August, a larger fire -- about 5 acres -- occurred just east of Walker Pass on the same highway. Joshua Trees were burned in both locations.

This is what that area looked like one month later:


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September 2016: Yucca brevifolia var. herbertii, Walker Pass, Hwy. 178, Kern County


Biologists have noted that this variety of Yucca brevifolia, sometimes called the Kern County Joshua Tree, can reproduce from the rhizomes -- modified underground stems -- noticeable especially following a fire. Indeed, that is what has happened. The fire did not burn long enough to destroy the rootstocks.

A year later: the first four photographs are from the Walker Pass area, the second four, from the area farther west. That second area has been recovering longer, so the new growth is taller.


September 2017
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