Sudden Oak Death, or SOD, is a forest disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a fungus-like pathogen. It can be fatal to some plants, including coast live oak, black oak, Shreve oak and tanoak. P. ramorum affects different species in a variety of ways and is spread through a wide number of host species, including the California bay laurel and rhododendron varieties. The pathogen itself is spread by wind-blown rain.
Dr. Matteo Garbelotto’s UC Berkeley research lab in Forest Pathology and Mycology organizes annual SOD-blitz citizen trainings, informs the public of annual new findings, and provides training on recommended treatments to prevent SOD.
Canopy recommends following Dr. Matteo Garbelotto’s UC Berkeley laboratory’s recommended prevention treatment, which is updated yearly based on research findings.
Please prevent the spread of SOD by cleaning foliage and mud off of shoes, tires, and pets before leaving an infected area.
To protect our oaks, Canopy partnered with UC Berkeley to organize volunteers to participate in a weekend SOD-blitz in Palo Alto, on June 1, 2013. Canopy provided volunteers with hot-spot routes to collect samples. After collecting samples and tagging trees, volunteers returned the samples to a designated drop box, and UC Berkeley researchers processed the samples.
In October 2013, Dr. Garbelotto revealed his lab’s findings, and provided updated training for treating oaks, based on the results.
San Jose Mercury News, Citizen-Scientists To Help Map Sudden Oak Fungus
The following websites provide good information about Sudden Oak Death Syndrome: