- Author: Chris M. Webb
Over the last 10 years, the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) has killed approximately 80,000 oak trees in San Diego County – including many large trees that were hundreds of years old.
To date GSOB has caused significant economic, ecological, cultural, and aesthetic losses in San Diego County. The costs of dead tree and infested wood alone is staggering.
GSOB (Agrilus Auroguttatus) is an invasive insect in California. Because it is a non-native pest there are not natural defense mechanisms to keep this insect in check. There is concern among experts that GSOB will continue to move north through California. Susceptible oak species are: coast live oak, California black oak, and canyon live oak.
It is highly suspected that GSOB entered California in firewood. GSOB larvae can live under the bark of dead oaks for over a year before exiting as adults. It is likely GSOB has spread so quickly in San Diego County via firewood movement. Because of this, it is extremely important to be mindful of where your firewood comes from. The movement of infested firewood could easily establish this destructive pest throughout the state.
To learn more about GSOB, or to get involved in preventing its spread, please see the gsob.org website.
And remember, to protect California’s Forest – Buy and Burn Local Firewood! Don’t move it around!