Oregon trees cooked during summer heat waves

Drought and intense heat waves delivered a “knockout punch” for hundreds of thousands of acres’ worth of Oregon trees this summer.

Bradley Parks, OPB November 22, 2021

This summer’s heat scorched Oregon trees — maybe worse than ever before — and scientists are beginning to piece together what that means for the trees’ long-term health.

Reports of fading foliage and crispy conifers started coming within days of a June heat wave, during which many parts of the state endured consecutive days with temperatures higher than 110 degrees.

Aerial surveys from the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and Washington Department of Natural Resources documented tree scorching on about 229,000 acres in Oregon. That’s likely an undercount, given the method’s limitations.


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