Sudden Oak Death (SOD)

Pest: Sudden Oak Death (SOD) (Phytophthora ramorum)

Pest Type: Infectious disease, fungus like

Major Identifying Features: Phytophthora are related to algae, which occur worldwide, they are water loving and thrive in moist and wet conditions, they are soil-dwelling root pathogens, infections must be confirmed by a laboratory DNA analysis

Life Cycle: Spores spread in moist conditions from host to host, oaks are the terminal hosts

Pest Rating: Invasive

Management Rating: Very difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Wet and moist conditions encourage growth, nonoak hosts are not killed by SOD, but they play a key role in the spread of Phytophthora, acting as a breeding ground for inoculum that can spread through water, wind-driven rain, plant material, or human activity, oaks are terminal hosts

Damage Information: SOD has killed more than 1 million oak and tanoak trees during the last decade, it can kill plants, but for some it is only a minor disease and trees have recovered on their own

Management Options: Prevention by inspecting nursery plants before purchase, mechanical removal of infected oaks and removal of nonoak host trees, disposal of plant debris and sanitation measures, cultural control by replanting after removing an infected tree, chemical treatments and prevention with phosphonates (WARNING ON THE USE OF CHEMICALS)



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