Volunteers enlisted to track Sudden Oak Death
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Officials in Sonoma County are once again enlisting volunteers to find evidence of Sudden Oak Death, a disease that quickly kills trees that can take hundreds of years to grow.
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the seventh annual Sudden Oak Death Blitz will focus on pinpointing trees that are so-called “reservoirs” of the deadly fungus-like microbe.
On April 19-20, dozens of volunteers will comb woodlands hunting for discolored leaves on bay laurels, evidence that those trees harbor the sudden oak death pathogen, which has infected more than 105,000 acres in the county. Removing the reservoir trees can help stop the disease’s spread.
The University of California-Berkeley’s Forest Pathology Laboratory says sudden oak death, discovered in 1995, has killed more than 3 million tanoak and oak trees in 15 counties from Monterey to Humboldt.