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Saturday: Combating Sudden Oak Death

Atherton residents wanting to help combat Sudden Oak Death (SOD) disease that threatens trees in their town can join an effort set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, in Atherton.

Sponsored by the Atherton Tree Committee, the "SOD Blitz" will teach participants to identify SOD symptoms on California bay laurel trees, which often are hit first by the pathogen that causes SOD and signals that the disease has arrived in an area.

Residents meeting Saturday at the Carriage House in Holbrook-Palmer Park will be trained to identify SOD symptoms, and learn the basics of sampling and collection, said town arborist Kathy Hughes Anderson.

Leaf samples will be taken in specific collection areas, she said. The samples will be analyzed in a UC Berkley laboratory and a map showing disease distribution in the town will be produced.

Those interested in participating should contact Ms. Anderson at 752-0526, or kanderson@ci-atherton.ca.us.

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