sudden oak death-please read!

gilisi(zone 7 sth/est)May 12, 2005

By ELLIOT MINOR, Associated Press Writer Wed May11,2005

ALBANY, Ga. - Plant lovers in the south are being asked to watch their camellias, rhododendrons and other ornamentals for signs of Sudden Oak Death, a fungal disease that has already killed thousands of trees on the West Coast.

U.S. Forest Service officials say the disease - which shows up with spots on leaves and dead twigs - was carried to the region in ornamentals shipped last year from nurseries in California and Oregon. The ornamentals serve as hosts and wind-borne spores can infect nearby oaks, which often die within two years.

The fear is that the fungus could have the same effect on oaks in Eastern states as the chesnut blight did in the early 1900's. Spread by a fungus from Asia, chestnut blight virtually wiped out one of the East's major tree species within 50 years.

"It's a regional concern; it's a global concern," said William Jones, a plant pathologist with the Forest Service's forest health protection unit in Ashville,N.C. "The threat to the Appalachians is basically as large as it was from chestnut blight."

Twenty -three states, including Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida, received some of the infected plants. Georgia alone received 59,000 of them and officials destroyed 10,000 after 53 plants tested positive.

But by then, retailers and nurseries had already sold about 49,000 plants.

Those are probably already growing in yards and landscapes, so officials are asking residents to monitor ornamentals for the symptoms and submit samples for testing.

there is much more to this article that i didn't type in(tired fingers) but here are some web sites that were with it.

California Oak Mortality Task Force: http://www.suddenoakdeath.org/

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/index.html

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phillip_in_alabama(7b)

How funny, I was just about to post this.

But wait, this is NOT funny. Isn't is always something to worry about???

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 2:55PM
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jeff_al

phillip,
did your camellia 'magnoliaeflora' survive?
mine died the first year and i was suspicious of disease.
it was a monrovia plant and they are in that part of the country where this disease has manifest itself.
i actually thought of this as i watched the plant slowly decline.
just a thought.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 4:10PM
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phillip_in_alabama(7b)

Jeff, half of my plant died and I thought that it was gone for good a few months ago. Only a small portion is alive. Should I discard it?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 4:26PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

I am a plant pathologist in Minnesota and have been involved in the research on this disease for a couple of years....If you have suspected plants to be infected, contact your local county extension agent, or better yet, your state's department of agriculture and ask them if they want to take the dead or dying plants to sample for the disease. They will also tell you how they are reccommending to dispose of it. I would suggest burning it, but don't compost it....

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 9:46PM
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jeff_al

thanks, salicacae
i read that it favors the climatic parameters of cool and moist, such as is found in the pacific northwest and northern california. also, some areas of the eastern u.s. that are expected to provide similar conditions would include the appalachians southward to northern alabama and georgia.
do you think the spread into the lower and coastal south might be slower because of summer heat (and drought, here lately)?
do they think it will be a problem in your area (does winter cold affect it)?
phillip,
if i understand correctly, our camellias(along with many other plants) serve as hosts for the fungus but don't die from it. i suppose my 'magnoliaeflora' had other health issues.
here is a direct link to the site listed by gilisi

Here is a link that might be useful: sudden oak death

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 2:43PM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

How scarey! I love my oaks!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 12:50AM
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Patricia43(z8 AL)

This is the reason our state government banned the import of plants from California for a period of time, but it should have been banned until such time this is no longer a problem, but hey! What would all the vendors here do without plants from Wasco, etc.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 2:38PM
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