Sudden oak death management in Oregon tanoak forests

Ellen M Goheen, Alan Kanaskie, Sarah Navarro, Everett Hansen


Sudden oak death (SOD) caused by Phytophthora ramorum was first discovered in Oregon forests in July 2001. There appear to have been three separate introductions of P. ramorum into Oregon; in approximately 1998, 2008, and 2014. The most recent of these was the EU1 clonal lineage; all others were the NA1 clonal lineage. Since 2001 an interagency team has been attempting to eradicate the pathogen though a program of early detection (aerial and ground surveys, stream baiting) and destruction (herbicide treatment, felling and burning) of infected and nearby host plants; the program has evolved over time. Post-treatment monitoring indicates that although the pathogen has been eliminated from many of the sites, spread continues. From 2001 to 2015 the quarantine area expanded from 23 km2 to 1,333 km2, where it remains to date. Within a 145 km2 Generally Infested Area near the center of the quarantine area, most sites have not been treated and the disease has been allowed to intensify and spread. Where eradication treatments have stopped, canopy tanoak mortality increased from nearly zero to 87 percent during the 2012-2016 period. Managing sudden oak death in Oregon forests is challenging for many reasons and Oregon’s program is likely to change in the future.

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