Homeowner’s Guide to Sudden Oak Death

Riverside, CA (June 22, 2006)- A plant disease commonly called Sudden Oak Death (SOD) continues to threaten coastal forests in California and Oregon. Though SOD is a forest disease, it is common in urban Wildland interface areas, so it presents many challenges for homeowners.


Currently found in 13 California counties from Monterey to Humboldt and in a small portion of southwest Oregon, the disease is caused by the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum (pronounced Fi-TOFF-thor-ra ra-MOR-um). Sudden Oak Death has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of native tanoak and coast live oak trees. In addition, more than 35 other plant species are susceptible to the pathogen, yet most of these species suffer only minor damage, limited to leaf spots or twig dieback.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in conjunction with the California Oak Mortality Task Force is currently making available an online six page guide, titled “A Homeowner’s Guide to Sudden Oak Death” that addresses homeowner concerns, including diagnosing infected trees, disposing of contaminated material, and understanding treatment options that are currently available. A copy of the online guide can be found by visiting the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute.
Find out more about this reference guide and other useful urban and community forestry information by visiting the Urban Forest Ecosystmes Institute.
Contact: Eric Oldar
Staff Forester
CDF – Forest Health Program
2524 Mulberry Street
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 320-6125
eric.oldar@fire.ca.gov