The U. C. Santa Cruz Arboretum will be sponsoring a lecture on Sudden Oak Death and what the local community can do to identify the disease in their area and mitigate its effects in the early stages, while it is primarily on its host plant, the bay laurel.
This is a topic that is immediately applicable to those of us with forest land in the Central Coast.
“SOD BLITZ: Communities Coming Together in the Fight Against Sudden Oak Death”, with Dr. Matteo Garbelotto.
Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a serious exotic disease, is threatening the survival of tanoak and several oak species in California. Currently SOD is found in the wildlands of 14 coastal California counties, from Monterey to Humboldt. While patchy in distribution, with each passing year, the swath of infection continues to become more contiguous. Researchers have discovered that Phytophthora ramorum, the pathogen that causes SOD, spreads most often on infected California bay laurel leaves. Symptomatic bay leaves are often the first sign that SOD has arrived at a location, and generally precedes oak infections. Some management options are available (sanitation, chemical preventative treatments, bay removal), but they are effective only if implemented before oaks and tanoaks are infected; hence, timely detection of the disease on bay laurel leaves is key for a successful proactive attempt to slow down the SOD epidemic.
Dr. Garbelotto’s talk will be focused on teaching how to correctly identify symptoms, how to correctly collect plant materials using the designed collection packets, and where to go to maximize chances of finding the disease while providing new information.
More information on this and other SOD Blitz activities can be found at the SOD Blitz Project.
This activity made possible thanks to funding from: USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Agdia, Inc.