- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Sudden Oak Death is changing the Bay Area landscape, according to a story in today's San Jose Mercury News by Julia Scott. The story was prompted by the removal of 40 dead trees in the forests surrounding Crystal Springs Reservoir. The trees were killed by Sudden Oak Death, which is gaining momentum in San Mateo County.
In the article, UC Berkeley forest pathologist Mateo Garbelleto offered a ray of hope, and what some might consider a worst-case scenario.
Garbelleto said a substance developed in his lab, Agri-Fos, can be applied to high-value trees to protect them from Sudden Oak Death. However, it would be cost prohibitive to treat all susceptible trees, so Bay Area forests will likely redesign themselves to accommodate changes over time.
"The oaks aren't going to disappear, but they're going to be rearranged," he is quoted. "These forests are going to progress more toward Douglas fir or they're going to go back into grasslands, which is the way the Bay Area was 150 years ago."