3/28 - Rainy Winter Spreads Sudden Oak Death
Sudden Oak Death, a disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a pernicious water mold that slunk from nursery plants into Northern and Central California wildlands two decades ago spreads. Matteo Garbelotto, a plant pathologist at UC Berkeley, has devoted much of his professional life to dealing with the problem of P. ramorum and racing to build a resistance.
"Transmitted largely through infected plant material, the pathogen can also be carried in water and even hitch a ride in the soil on hiking boots and car tires. P. ramorum is known to kill three oak species and cause branch dieback in well over 100 other species of plants, but tanoaks are the most susceptible and P. ramorum has felled millions of them."