Sudden Oak Death: Prevention is Key
Sudden Oak Death, or SOD, has caused widespread dieback of a variety of oak species throughout California and Oregon. Homeowners who notice trunk cankers, spots on leaves and shoot dieback should seek assistancefrom an ISA certified arborist to help protect their landscapes.
What is Sudden Oak Death?
Caused by a water mold known as Phytophthora ramorum, SOD can have a fatal effect on the following species:
- Coast live oak
- California black oak
- Shreve’s oak
- Canyon live oak
It is also the culprit of twig and foliar diseases in other plants, including Coast redwood and Douglas-fir.
How does it spread?
SOD spores can disseminate via blowing rain or flowing water. They can also be on soil or items such as shoes, tires or pet’s paws. Additionally, SOD can be transported through shipments of ornamental plants.
Identifying symptoms may not be enough to confirm SOD is present. Laboratory confirmation by a local county agriculture department or a university extension office may be required. And while no cure exists, a preventative treatment can be applied to oaks and tanoaks.