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Top Story

California’s sudden oak death epidemic now 'unstoppable'

Sudden oak death -- caused by Phytophthora ramorum, a fungus-like pathogen related to potato blight -- has killed millions of trees over hundreds of square kilometers of forest in California. First detected near San Francisco in 1995, it spread north through coastal California, devastating the region’s iconic oak and tanoak forests. New research shows this epidemic cannot now be stopped, but that its tremendous ecological and economic impacts could have been greatly reduced if control had been started earlier. The research also identifies new strategies to enhance control of future epidemics, including identifying where and how to fell trees.

Visit Website | Image credit: David Rizzo