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Today, California’s forests have succumbed to what is called “Sudden Oak Death”. This phenomenon is due to a pathogen that has affected millions of oaks and tanoaks along our coastline.

The pathogen is a type of water mold that can cause some tree trunks to create cankers that can bleed out the sap, or lifeblood, of the tree. It has torn through our forests, killing many trees in its wake. Not only does it have an impact on the trees themselves, but also has an impact on the wildlife that are dependent on these trees for habitat and food.

Now, the pathogen that originally emerged in 1995 and San Jose tree services have seen grow to epidemic proportions can no longer be eradicated statewide. It now must be addressed by focusing on small local areas for treatment and restoration, and, hopefully, slowing its spread. This will be done by prioritizing trees that are at risk and taking the appropriate steps to protect them.

Unlike many other diseases that affect trees, Sudden Oak Death affects the whole tree immediately. When new shoots at the ends of branches begin to wilt and die, a red sap will begin to bleed from the lower part of the tree’s trunk. These symptoms leave the affected tree open to infestations of insects and decay.

While your trees may exhibit signs of Sudden Oak Death, there are other diseases that can also express similar symptoms:

● Wetwood is a bacterial infection that results from an injury to the tree
● Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum is a fungus that grows on dead wood and can be a symptom of late stage Sudden Oak Death, but can also appear on uninfected trees as well
● California oakworm can cause defoliation and make a tree look as if it is dead or dying

If you suspect Sudden Oak Death, it is important to consult with a San Jose tree service professional in order to diagnose your tree and discuss plans for treatment or removal. In some cases, infected oak trees can remain relatively healthy for some time. If you decide upon removal, always hire an experienced tree service in San Jose as infected trees can often have structural wood decay and be dangerous when removing. Call the experts at Bay Area Tree Specialists and we will be able to help you ascertain whether your trees have been infected and help you with treatment or removal.