"If we had one more year of drought, it would really be ideal," said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.
The article said Garbelotto isn't hoping for more drought, but evidence shows that the drought is helping reduce SOD infection rates and in some cases is curing infected trees, "because the pathogen dies."
Each spring, the UC Berkeley SOD lab hosts a "blitz" to gauge the spread of Sudden Oak Death. Volunteers fan out across areas susceptible to SOD and collect leaf samples for analysis.
In the Cloverdale area, where an outbreak was confirmed last year, none of the trees sampled had the disease this year, the article reported.
"I would say it is there, but we just didn't find it," Garbelotto said.
East of Highway 101, the rate dropped from 26 percent infected last year to 23.3 percent in 2014, the story said.
Complete SOD blitz results will be available Sept. 29 on the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab website.
Warm weather seems to be keeping SOD out of the Salinas Valley, but it is having a deadly effect on the surrounding forests.
“The organism has a really significant impact on our forests,” said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He said that adult tanoaks – an evergreen species closely related to oaks – are almost entirely wiped out in some areas.
To help prevent the spread of sudden oak death, people visiting invested areas should not remove leaves or branches and should clean dirt from their shoes before leaving.
A Sudden Oak Death "Blitz" planned for Sonoma County June 15-16 will prepare local residents to spot infected plants, collect samples from their neighborhoods and submit them for laboratory testing, reported the Kenwood Press.
Trees susceptible to sudden oak death include California bay laurel, tan oak, live oak, black oak, canyon live oak and shreve oak. After the laboratory analysis is complete, Garbeletto will schedule a return visit to discuss the findings of the survey and provide guidelines for action.
"If the disease front is 100 yards away, then one needs to decide whether some of his oaks should be protected," Garbeletto said. "For oaks up to 30 inches in diameter, removal of small and medium size laurels for a 10-yard radius around the oak trunk plus the application of AgriFos on the bark each year or every other year will protect the oak."
The information collected by the citizen scientists will also be added to Garbelotto's OakMapper website, a portal where SOD appearance in California is monitored.
Diseased trees were even found in Golden Gate Park, where there is no obvious source of the pathogen, such as nurseries or wildland.
"It's puzzling that we found it there because it's a totally urban environment, and I really didn't expect it. It shows how complicated and adaptable this organism is," said Matteo Garbelotto, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. "The area doesn't have a lot of oaks, so I'm not worried about oaks there, but I'm worried about other plants being infected and, of course, people carrying it on their shoes."
Called "The Growing Experience," the garden supports a Community Supported Agriculture program, which supplies weekly boxes of fresh produce to families who pay a subscription fee.
“The box of food contains seasonal produce,” said garden coordinator Jimmy Ng. “Right now, we have a lot of collard greens, summer and winter squash, apples, herbs, basil, beets, turnips and we also have eggs.”
The Growing Experience also sells food to gourmet restaurants.
Deadly oak scourge threatens Burlingame Hills trees
Michele Ellson, San Francisco Examiner
Burlingame Hills homeowner Steve Epstein is on a quest to eradicate the Sudden Oak Death in this densely forested canyon enclave of 426 homes west of Hillsborough.