Sudden Oak Death (SOD)
Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is a plant disease caused by the water mold Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum). This organism causes disease in more than 100 species of trees, shrubs, herbs, and ferns. P. ramorum is a serious threat to forest and nursery industries throughout the Pacific Northwest.
P. ramorum spreads by wind and rain moving within forest canopies from treetops to stems and from understory plants to overstory trees. The pathogen survives in infested plant material, litter, soil, and water.
Management efforts in Pacific Northwest forests and nurseries focus on eradicating the pathogen where it is found and on preventing new infections. Sudden Oak Death affects landowners, businesses, resource managers, and conservation groups. There are several management options which depend on personal goals and location.
This website is dedicated to bringing awareness and resources to Oregon residence concerning Sudden Oak Death and its impact on our communities.
In 2017, a SOD Task Force was convened by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Oregon State Representative David Brock Smith staffed by the Association of Oregon Counties through legislative funding. The mission of the Task Force was to develop a collaborative-based strategic action plan to contain the lineage of P. ramorum and eradicate the EU1 lineage of P. ramorum in Curry County, Oregon using an ecosystem management approach that is scientifically sound, ecologically credible and economically sound. Development and unanimous approval of the Strategic Action Plan required cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among the participating Federal agencies, and with the State of Oregon, Tribes, local governments and private landowners.
Please visit the Task Force page for more information
Locations of SOD
The origin of P. ramorum is unknown. In the urban–woodland interface and in forests, Sudden Oak Death is known only in 15 counties in California and in a 292-square-mile area in Curry County, Oregon. How SOD came to the area is not known for sure, but genetic tests suggest it was introduced to Oregon through infected nursery plants. No other locations in the wild are known in North America.
Sudden Oak Death has been found in several plant nurseries in Oregon and other states, and these nurseries are under strict inspection and eradication protocols.
Each year, new outbreaks are detected, and much effort is spent suppressing the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of SOD
Each year, new infestations are detected, and much effort is spent in slowing the spread of this disease.
Symptoms include sap bleeding, stem canker, lesions, dead tree, foliage or twig dieback, and leaf blight or spots. Other Phytophthora species and fungi can cause similar symptoms on tanoaks and other host species, which is why laboratory confirmation is required.
What you can do
• Familiarize yourself with symptoms of P. ramorum and report areas for testing if concerned about infection.
• Know the location of the quarantine boundary.
• Do not transport plant material or firewood from affected areas in California or Oregon.
• Before you leave affected areas in California or Oregon, wash mud and soil off your vehicle, equipment, clothing, and footwear. If possible, use a 10-percent bleach solution for washing.
• When purchasing host plants from nurseries, ask nursery management about the origin of the plants and whether they have been inspected.
Photo credit: Sarah Navarro/ODF
“Oregon has a long history of pioneering innovative ways to resolve urgent natural resource issues. I’m proud that in a time of political divisiveness, we in Oregon are coming together to tackle a pressing issue for our southern counties.
The Sudden Oak Death pathogens NA1 and EU1 are too great a problem for one agency or one level of government to solve. With the potential for devastating impacts on our local economy and environment, this task force will work collaboratively to look for more and better solutions to fight these pathogens.”
- Senator Jeff Merkely
Map of the Quarantine Area and the Generally Infested Area.
Note: These boundaries are subject to revision.
Photo credit: Sarah Navarro/ODF
If you are located outside of known infested areas within Curry County:
Oregon Department of Forestry - Brookings, OR
If you are located outside of Curry County:
Oregon Department of Forestry - Salem, OR
Please visit the Reporting page for more information.
Please visit the Resources page for more information.