Sudden Oak Death is a tree disease caused by the fungus-like plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. First recognized in the mid 1990s, the disease kills some oak species (primarily coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, and an oak relative, tanoak, Notholithocarpus densiflorus) and has had devastating effects on coastal forests in California and Oregon. The pathogen also infects rhododendrons, camellias, and other common horticultural plants, causing ramorum blight. In the UK and Ireland, the pathogen is causing extensive damage on Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) in plantations.

Phytophthora ramorum was inadvertently introduced to California forests on nursery stock and, as an invasive species, is quarantined in over 60 countries with restrictions enforced on shipments of nursery stock and other host plant materials. For an introduction and background on Sudden Oak Death/P. ramorum read more here.

Relatives of P. ramorum, other Phytophthora species are damaging native and ornamental vegetation throughout California. Unintentional pathogen introductions are an acute concern for restoration of sensitive habitat where restoration nursery stock may serve as a pathway for pathogen introduction into rare, threatened or endangered species habitat. Read more about other Phytophthora species found in native habitats, native plant nurseries, and restoration sites here.

News

Additional manzanita (Arctostaphylos) species deemed susceptible to P. ramorum. Read more…

USDA APHIS updates protocol for submitting official, regulatory samples. Read more…

P. ramorum projects receive over $1.2 million via the federal Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program administered by the USDA APHIS. Read more…

SOD Blitz activities for spring 2020 still underway. Read more…

Read the latest newsletter.

Help stop the spread of forest pests – including Sudden Oak Death – on firewood! Check out the website of the California Firewood Task Force.

Calendar of Events

April 21 – Virtual Oak Health Workshop (Sonoma and Mendocino Counties). Recorded presentations will be available April 14 with a live online session on April 21.   For more information see http://cesonoma.ucanr.edu/SuddenOakDeath/

View more details on upcoming events in the latest newsletter…

The California Oak Mortality Task Force is a task force under the California Forest Pest Council.