- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC Berkeley Cooperative Extension natural resources specialist Doug McCreary knew it was a matter of life or death . . . . This spring, landowners were wondering whether they should yank out oak trees that were uncharacteristically brown or bare.
McCreary took quick action to save trees' lives. He gathered information for a news release assuring people the die-back was probably not a sign of Sudden Oak Death and urging them to wait at least a year before pulling out trees. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and run in several Northern California newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News.
The AP article included McCreary's points that many oaks in the Sierra foothills and along the North Coast have been left leafless this spring because of a cold snap, not disease. Most trees should recover.
Meg McConahey of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat called McCreary to localize the story. Her article said landowners and forest stewards on the North Coast are particularly sensitive to oak health because of the devastating spread of SOD. "Sonoma is by far the hardest hit of 14 counties now under state quarantine in California," the article said.