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Media uses UC sudden oak death expertise

When the Contra Costa Times set out to write a story about the plight of landowners in Canyon where oak trees are dying from Sudden Oak Death, the reporter sought information from the California Oak Mortality Task Force, a program established at UC Berkeley that focuses on Phytophthora ramorum, the plant pathogen which causes Sudden Oak Death.

Reporter Elizabeth Nardi interviewed task force public information officer Katie Palmieri for information about removing diseased trees from private and public property. Palmieri said the task force does not have a recommendation on when trees should be removed.

According to the article, Palmieri said taking down oaks depends on how that will affect the rest of the habitat, but fire danger is also a concern, which is why tree removal has to be done on a case-by-case basis.

"Once you have the pathogen on your property, it's there and can spread," Palmieri is quoted. "If not structurally sound, the trees (fall) at a higher rate. It is hazardous to have a bunch of dead, standing trees."

The article also includes the task force's easy-to-remember Web site address, http://suddenoakdeath.org, and includes the phone number for the UC Cooperative Extension county office in Contra Costa County.

Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 12:05 PM

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