Question (WOODWEB Member) :
I recently burnt a fair size brush pile on a wooded lot where our company is building a home. The brush was very dry and the fire got very hot. While the fire was not right against other trees it wasn't in a clearing either. My question is how much heat can a tree take before being damaged or killed? The trees in question are between 40-60 feet tall.
From contributor T:
There are a lot of variables to consider in your question - mainly the species of trees affected and the temperature and duration that those trees were exposed to. As you can imagine, some species have thicker bark which insulates better, and some are just plain more resistant regardless of the damage. If memory serves correctly, cell death will occur at about 140 deg. F, but often times (again, depending on species) the tree may not die from the fire, but it may sustain a damage in that spot closest to the fire (and potentially causing a defect in that log in the future). Keep an eye on the trees you're most concerned about, and the next couple of weeks will tell you if they are damaged - watch the foliage for wilting or dying leaves.