October 2021 EPA Update: Sudden Oak Death

Fall is here and the ooti/uti (acorns) are falling. Time to begin gathering. While you are out there observe the oaks you gather from. 

Have you heard of Sudden Oak Death? Let me tell you about it and what to look for……

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a water mold pathogen. The pathogen is also the cause of the Ramorum Leaf Blight, Ramorum Dieback and Phytophthora Canker Diseases. SOD was first detected in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1990s. It was first recognized as killing trees in Oregon forests in in 2001. The SOD pathogen is considered especially dangerous because it affects a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants and there is no known cure.  The pathogen has killed millions of tanoak and coast live oak trees along the central CA coast into Southern Oregon.

Where’s the threat? California & Oregon, it’s been recorded as close to us as Sacramento. 

Do you know what signs to look out for? 

*Bark cankers (calluses on woody portions of trees, often seeping black or reddish ooze) 

*Leaf spots

*Twig dieback 

What can we do? There is a Oak Moratlity Task Force click this link to find out more:  https://www.suddenoakdeath.org/

How can we stop it? Truly, the best defenses against Sudden Oak Death include avoiding moving the host plant material long distances, knowing exactly where the disease is, and avoiding traveling in infected areas.