Surge in Calif. Oak Deaths Worries Scientists

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - The news for Northern California's coastal oak trees is not good.

A survey by the University of California, Berkeley found more than 376,000 trees have died in the past year of the pathogen known as sudden oak death.

That's up from 38,000 in the previous year's study.

The effort to map the spread of the disease is led by UC Berkeley's California Oak Mortality Task Force.

Scientists say a wet spring in 2011 helped contribute to a surge in the spread of the pathogen, which kills the inner layer of the tree and cuts off its food supply.

They urge homeowners from Monterey to Humboldt to check for leaf blot on plants such as rhododendron and bay laurels that serve as hosts for the disease.

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