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Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden oak death is caused by the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, and is responsible for the widespread die back of tanoak and several oak species in the central and northern coastal counties of California. It has also been identified on numerous other host plants, with varying symptoms and varying degrees of mortality.  It has been present in the state with a limited distribution since the mid-1990's, but in 2000, in the wake of a season of extremely high precipitation due to El Niño, the pathogen's virulence became apparent. In the Central Coast area, the pathogen has become well established in portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as locally in the Big Sur area.

In 2003 and 2004 a number of infected ornamental hosts such as Camellia and Rhododendron have been detected in nurseries throughout the U.S.

The California Oak Mortality Task Force maintains a website to provide information on Sudden Oak Death.

This website contains a wealth of information including symptoms, distribution of the disease, management efforts, state-wide contacts, publications, as well as links to other sudden oak death – related sites: http://suddenoakdeath.org.