The Oregon departments of Agriculture and Forestry (ODA,
with the USDA Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) announced today that Sudden Oak Death disease has been discovered in
tanoak trees in the Brookings area in the southwestern-most corner of
Oregon. The deadly tree disease has decimated coastal California forests
since it was first detected in tanoak trees near Mill Valley, California,
An ODF and USFS cooperative aerial survey detected multiple sites that
displayed symptoms of Sudden Oak Death. Ground surveys and laboratory
(conducted by Oregon State University) have so far confirmed the presence
of the fungal infection at two of these sites.
"We think we have a good shot at eradicating it, because we detected
sites early," ODA Plant Pathologist Nancy Osterbauer said, "and
of disease are small."
Osterbauer said that surveys will continue in the area to determine if
Sudden Oak Death has infected other forest sites.
A quarantine enacted by ODA in January, that forbids importation of
black oak, coast live oak and other host plants from areas of California
infected with the disease, has been extended to the southwestern Oregon
lands where the fungus was detected.
Huckleberry, Oregon myrtle, and rhododendron are included under the ban,
since these plant species can also harbor and transmit Sudden Oak Death.
Details of the quarantine are available on the ODA website.
"The discovery of the disease in Oregon forests makes compliance with
the quarantine even more critical," ODF Forest Pathologist Alan
Kanaskie said, "in order to prevent spread."
Since tanoaks and black oaks - two of the three species of oak most
susceptible to Sudden Oak Death - are found in Oregon, ODA and ODF ask
Oregonians to follow some simple guidelines:
Do not transport tanoak, black oak or coast live oak firewood or
other potentially infected plant materials (such as seedlings, logs, bark
products or acorns) from diseased areas in California and Oregon to
uninfected areas. This includes rhododendron, Oregon myrtle, and
* If you visit diseased areas in California or Oregon, wash mud or soil
from your vehicle and shoes before traveling to disease-free areas. This
includes mountain bikes ridden in areas with the disease.
Sudden Oak Death is caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a fungus that invades
susceptible trees through the bark, killing the entire tree or portions of
the tree. Death can occur rapidly.