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planting after wildfires

 
Gypsy Brokenwings
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So...I started the process of selling my home so I can buy land to homestead in Idaho, then the wildfires hit the areas I'm looking in.
Rather than see this as a total no go, I'm wondering if it could be beneficial for growing fruit trees, mushrooms, and less acidic plants than evergreens. I have heard some fires burn so hot they totally serialize the land and trees replanted by the forest service won't grow in those areas.
I really would love some information.
 
Bill Erickson
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Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Gypsy, extremely hot fires can sterilize the soil. But on average, you actually wind up with quite a fertile growing zone for plants that like disturbed soil - and lots of baby evergreen trees sprouting up through the ash. A fire is basically a restart in that section of land. You will get many deciduous trees that will start up, right along with the evergreens. Then there are all the understory plants/bushes that will come in strong.
Seems to me, that would be a good time to get food forest and support plants going in the soil. Much of the timber will be salvageable for homestead uses, and not just as singed firewood.
Good luck in your search for your land.
 
Juan Sebastian Estrada
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Location: Medellin, Colombia
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In "Desert or Paradise" sepp holzer gives various examples of restoring areas affected by forest fires, I suggest you read that if you can.

If the fires have been recent the ash will be a good source of nutrients for the new plants, but you should also encourage the biology to recolonize the soil. Organic matter and compost tea would be an efficient way of doing it. Also start working as soon as possible before the rain and wind carry the ash away and the nutrients with it.

You will of course have to take measures to prevent the fires coming into your property again and undoing all of your hard work. Think earthworks and water retention.
 
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