Experts: 12 million trees have dried out in California drought

In this Tuesday, July 21, 2015 photo, decaying almonds hang from a dead tree in an almond orchard, in Newman, Calif., abandoned by a landowner who couldn't get enough water for irrigation. Due to California's epic drought, Central Valley farmers who depend on water pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta to irrigate their crops, have seen their water allocations reduced or eliminated altogether. Much of the blame for the cuts to water supplies is the state's efforts to supply water for the endangered Delta smelt. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — The mix of extreme heat and no water means the Golden State is fast becoming the crispy, brown state.

Twelve million trees have dried up because of the drought, and all that dead wood means the risk of wildfires is extremely high.

One of the Bay Area’s most respected tree experts explained why so many trees are dying off. For Michael Bonfante, a healthy majestic redwood is a sight to behold.

He is devoted his entire life to all things green. He built the famous tree theme park Bonfante Gardens, and now, Gilroy Gardens.

So, when he sees dried up suffering trees, it hurts.

“These poor trees are pretty stressed out. Stressed. We definitely need water,” Bonfante said.

But as the drought drags on, more trees will shrivel up and die, which means even more fuel for fires. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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