The Cambrian

Volunteers needed for study to look for signs of Sudden Oak Death

A California bay laurel is seen at the Cal Poly Arboretum in October 2016.
A California bay laurel is seen at the Cal Poly Arboretum in October 2016.

Scientists and officials are seeking volunteers for an upcoming visual study of native bay laurel plants and oak trees countywide. The volunteers will look for signs of sudden oak death (SOD), a serious exotic plant disease threatening several oak species in 15 California counties.

Duplicate trainings for the so-called SOD Blitz study will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20 at Atascadero Library, 6555 Capistrano Ave., and at noon Saturday, April 21, at the UCCE Auditorium, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo.

Register at http://ucanr.edu/2018sodblitztraining.

The two-day blitz study will be done Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22.

UC Berkeley and the county Department of Agriculture deem the SOD blitz to be the best way to detect the disease early.

According to information sent to the media, “the sooner we find it, the sooner effective management strategies can be implemented to prevent oak trees from dying,” which would alter the area’s vegetation composition and susceptibility to wildfire.

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