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Management Options

Dying Oaks
Researchers are testing several management tactics and associated timing for goldspotted oak borer (GSOB) in southern California. As research is completed and compiled, management guidelines specifically for GSOB will be updated. The following suggestions are provided based on research findings to date for GSOB and similar borer species in other areas of the county.

Community Preparedness

San Diego County has experienced the loss of tens of thousands of oak trees as a result of goldspotted oak borer attacks.  With more than a million acres of susceptible oaks in southern California and millions more acres throughout the state, communities are encouraged to work collectively to develop prevention, monitoring, and response plans before GSOB strikes. Guidelines for strategic action before GSOB strikes your communities are available as a PDF brochure download.

Infested Live Trees

See management options discussed in the University of California Integrated Pest Management publication, UC IPM Goldspotted Oak Borer Pest Note.

Chemical Control

Several land managers, tree care professionals and homeowners have inquired about insecticide treatments and methods, which could be used to protect oaks not yet affected by GSOB or to salvage infested trees that are still alive. At this time it is not known which insecticide, if any, will effectively and safely control GSOB.  Due to the many complex issues involved with insecticide use, any management program utilizing chemicals cannot be recommended until adequate research on GSOB in our geographic area has been completed. Research studies currently in progress will help determine if insecticide use may be an effective, cost efficient and safe component of a management program for GSOB. For more information, refer to these resources from the University of California Integrated Pest Management program:

Dead Oak Trees

Infested Dead and Downed Trees

GSOB larvae continue to develop in infested, dying and dead trees with green wood including logs and firewood from recently killed trees. It is important to properly manage oak firewood harboring GSOB and limit the impact of the pest. Do not remove oak firewood from local infested areas to prevent the potential spread of GSOB in new areas. Without treatment, larvae in the cut wood continue to be a threat to other susceptible oaks.
Treatment options for infested wood:


Licensed Arborists

Note: Your local telephone directory may also provide listings for arborists and local tree care specialists.

Other Options

Heat treatment of infested wood material at 160°F for a minimum of 75 minutes in an automated wood-drying kiln has been shown to eliminate many insects and diseases from firewood.  These kilns have the capability of measuring and recording temperature and duration well inside a pile of wood.  However, scientific studies are still being conducted to confirm that this temperature and time standard will kill GSOB, and no solid management conclusions have yet been drawn.
Cooperating agencies are investigating other methods for managing GSOB infested wood. Researchers continue to investigate tub grinding strategies and bio-fuel/co-generation facilities.
Information will be posted on this webpage as new authorized options become available.