Volunteer for sudden oak death blitz
Sonoma County Master Gardener sudden oak death specialists in conjunction with UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and Dr. Matteo Garbelotto of UC Berkeley will conduct a "blitz" in the Sonoma Valley to document the presence and spread of the disease June 4 and 5.
Residents who volunteer for this year's event, will act as volunteer scientists in collecting samples of SOD hosts such as tanoak and bay laurel leaves.
The tests are free and samples may be taken from trees in areas of particular interest to the volunteers, including their own and neighbors' properties.
Sonoma County has been especially hard hit by sudden oak death, a serious disease that is threatening the survival of tanoak and several oak species in California. Currently SOD is found in 14 coastal California counties from Monterey to Humboldt.
While still patchy in distribution, the swath of infection continues to become more contiguous.
Interested volunteers will meet from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St.
The Master Gardeners will provide an overview of SOD in the county and give instructions on the procedures for recognizing and collecting the symptomatic leaves. They samples are to be delivered back to the meeting sites by Sunday, June 5.
They will then be sent to a UC Berkeley forest pathology lab for analysis. The volunteers will later be invited to return to hear the results of the blitz and what this means to Sonoma County.
To register for the blitz go to ucanr.org/sonoma blitz or call or email Lisa Bell at 565-2050, firstname.lastname@example.org.