Grasses, unlike broadleaves, grow from a growing point known as the crown (Figure 5). If the crown was still below the ground and survived the heat of the fire, then the plants will likely recover provided there is adequate moisture in the ground. It is recommended to check those areas where the fire was more intense and determine if the crowns are still alive. If the plants start to elongate after a few days, then I would not recommend re-seeding. They should begin to grow out rather quickly. For other areas burned, such as pasture that may require re-seeding, the following WSU Extension publication, “Seeding After A Fire (FS206E)
” has a wealth of helpful information.
The visual damage can look devastating but a closer look can reveal a more accurate estimation of the potential damage. Digging a few plans can reveal whether there is still green or white healthy tissue.
If after a few days the tissue has yellowed and wilted then the plant may be dead. On the other hand if the tissue is still firm and started to elongate the plant is still alive. The plants may be weakened from the event but will still be a better result than reseeding at this later date.