In drought-stricken California, 36 million trees have died since May, the Los Angeles Times reports. They’re part of 62 million trees that have died in the state since 2016 and 102 million trees that have died over the past six years.
“It’s not beyond the pale to suggest that this is a pretty unprecedented event in at least recent history,” a US Geological Survey ecologist tells the San Francisco Chronicle.
The dead trees—some of which normally live hundreds of years—represent more than a third of the 21 million acres of trees in California’s national forests. The state’s five-year drought is killing some directly and weakening others for pests.