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Arbor-wellness: Sudden Oak Death

What is Sudden Oak Death?

Sudden Oak Death is a disease that is lethal to several species of oak trees and damaging to well over 100 landscape plant and trees. It is primarily a woodland disease, in that the problem is more pronounced in the woodlands and savanna’s at the outskirts of our coastal towns. However, as the infections become more widespread, we see the effects of the disease more and more in urban areas.

How can I tell if my trees have SOD?

The disease starts by infecting leaves and twigs in the upper branches, but once it attacks a tree, it moves into the woody part of branches and the main trunk. This later infection is seen usually as open, bleeding wounds and cankers on the main trunks of the trees. It spreads during cool, moist weather and can be found in infected plant material, soil and even in the water that flows through infect areas. This makes control very difficult.

What can I do?

There are some very important steps to take in general. First, cleaning up debris on the landscape floor helps eliminate spores that spread the disease. Second, if you suspect you might have tree with this disease, ask your Arborwell arborist to confirm the diagnosis. We can confirm with the help of a professional lab if you have this disease on your site. Lastly, consider proactive treatments if the disease in in your surrounding area. Government agencies are mapping confirmed infections and recommend proactive treatments if your site is within ¼ to ½ mile of a confirmed infection.
There is a lot to consider when managing your trees for a long-term investment in health, safety and beauty. At Arborwell, we work hard to study and understand problems like Sudden Oak Death so we can offer the best solutions for YOUR site. Contact your representative today if you are concerned about your oaks, we will help you preserve them for you today AND for your children tomorrow.

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