About Goldspotted Oak Borer
The goldspotted oak borer (GSOB), Agrilus auroguttatus (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is a flatheaded borer new to California that poses a significant threat to oak trees. The pest is native to southeastern Arizona, although a related species occurs in southern Mexico and northern Guatemala. GSOB was first collected and identified in California in 2004 in San Diego County but was not linked to extensive oak mortality until 2008. As of 2010, GSOB has killed an estimated 21,500 trees covering 1,893 square miles in San Diego County in forests, parks, and residential landscapes.
GSOB larvae feed beneath the bark of certain oaks near the interface of the phloem and xylem, the nutrient and water conducting tissues of plants. The larvae damage both of these tissues as well as the cambium, a unicellular layer between the phloem and xylem that is responsible for the radial growth of the tree. Trees die after several years of injury inflicted by multiple generations of the beetle, causing significant economic, ecological, cultural, and aesthetic losses to the region. GSOB poses a major threat to susceptible oak species throughout California and southern Oregon. Currently there are no effective tools for protecting trees once infestation occurs.
Source: Goldspotted Oak Borer Field Identification Guide
University of California IPM, Jan. 2011
Read more about the goldspotted oak borer situation in the GSOB Issue Paper.
See a map of discovered goldspotted oak borer infestation areas in San Diego County.