Sudden Oak Death
March 18, 2004 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Sudden Oak Death is caused by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora ramorum and it has been discovered at Monrovia and other nurseries in California. Georgia officials have banned all sales of plants from California for the time being. SOD is frequently compared to Chestnut Blight, which killed 3.5 billion trees in about fifty years and almost wiped out the entire species. There is a different mating type of the microbe in Europe and it is believed that if the two were to come together this could potentially result in a much more devastating form of SOD.
posted by bargle (7 comments total)
Wow, that's bad juju. In scanning the info, and looking at a couple of other sites, it appears that they don't have a cure for it yet...if they ever will. It may be like Dutch elm disease and the other fungus (fungi?) that have been decimating trees in the south for a decade or so, where there is no cure but to remove and burn the trees.
posted by dejah420 at 10:52 AM on March 18, 2004

Maples (and other trees): Asian Longhorn Beetle
Hemocks: Wooly Adelgid
Spruce (and other trees): Acid Rain
Dogwood: Dogwood Anthracnose
Ash: Ash Decline
This isn't a good time to be a tree. They're sitting ducks for introduced pests, invasive alien species, air pollution, and perhaps climate changes.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:40 AM on March 18, 2004

TimeFactor, Let's not leave out the Red Oak Borer, which has been killing red and black oak in fantastic numbers in Arkansas and Missouri. Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest has been dealing with this issue by harvesting all the black/red oak they can before it dies. The amount of harvesting in my area is sickening.

I've gone through three chains sawing down dead oaks on the Ozark Trail. Not a good time to be a tree indeed.
posted by F Mackenzie at 2:25 PM on March 18, 2004

posted by freebird at 2:58 PM on March 18, 2004

Sudden Oak alarms me, deeply, not least because there is some potential for harm to coastal Sequoias, which are one of the fungal hosts.
posted by majick at 5:17 PM on March 18, 2004

Mountain Pine Beetle is devasting BC's forests. We're headed for big trouble up here.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 PM on March 18, 2004

Yes, and there are Pine Borer beetles, and Dutch Elm Disease isn't limited to the south. All those fine wines and whiskies that either won't be able to be barrel aged anymore, or will be so far out of price range that that only the wealthy can bathe in it anymore...
posted by Eekacat at 6:33 AM on March 19, 2004

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