Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sudden oak death is a real travesty


Mainly a tree disease that hits trees and plants in California and other areas in the Pacific Northwest, Sudden oak death (SOD) is a very serious plant disease.  SOD attacks many types of plants and trees common to the Pacific Northwest, including azaleas, big leaf maples, huckleberry, California bay laurel, camellia, myrtles, honeysuckle, Pacific madrone, Douglas fir, rhododendrons, and vibernum. It does not affect humans and is not a food safety concern.

Sudden oak death is caused by a pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. The pathogen is not a fungus or a bacterium, but a member of a unique group of organisms called Oomycetes. Oomycetes share some characteristics of fungi but are biologically different. 

  

Symptoms of Sudden Oak Death
Symptoms vary from plant to plant, and may include leaf spots, needle and tip blight, shoot-tip dieback, and canker formations. Many other plant pathogens cause the same symptoms. The only way to confirm the presence of sudden oak death is through laboratory testing.

The SOD phenomenon was first reported in 1995 in central coastal California. Since then, tens of thousands of tanoaks, coast live oaks, and California black oaks have been killed by a newly identified fungus, Phytophthora ramorum. On these hosts, the fungus causes a bleeding canker on the stem.

Eventhough SOD is mainly found on the west coast, SOD is of great concern to land managers in the Eastern U.S. as well, because at least two eastern oak species, northern pin oak (Quercus palustris) and northern red oak(Quercus rubra), are highly susceptible to the disease when inoculated with the pathogen. Forest land managers nationwide should be aware of the symptoms of sudden oak death, and should contact a pest management specialist right away if they suspect that the disease is present in a new location.

There are not many successful treatments for SOD, however there is a popular treatment that does not kill the pathogen, but that it stops its growth if used in the early stages of infection.  This is why it is imperative to contact your local tree service, arborist or pest management specialist right away if you suspect your trees may infected with the SOD fungus.

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

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