Aerial drone view of forest dieback in northern central Germany. Dying spruce trees in the Harz mountains, Lower Saxony. Drought and bark beetle infestation, global warming and climate change.

Survey Detects 36 Million Dead Trees in California

On February 7, the U.S. Forest Service published the 2022 Aerial Detection Survey report providing an annual estimate of tree mortality. The survey revealed about 36.3 million trees across 2.6 million acres of federal, state and private land died in California in 2022. The central Sierra Nevada Range and areas further north showed the highest mortality rates with true firs being the most impacted.

These data points mark an increased level of mortality compared to 2021 due to the cumulative impacts of extended drought, overstocked forest conditions, insect outbreaks, and disease.

“Forest health is a top priority for the Forest Service,” said Jennifer Eberlien, Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. “The agency’s 10-year strategy to address the wildfire crisis includes removal of dead and dying trees in the places where it poses the most immediate threats to communities.”

News Release