Volunteers needed to identify diseased trees | May 30, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



Community - May 30, 2012

Volunteers needed to identify diseased trees

Environmental leaders in Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley are hoping to enlist volunteers to participate in a June 2 and 3 survey of trees to measure the spread of sudden oak death (SOD) in their communities.

The survey relies on volunteers to collect leaves from possibly infected trees for analysis by a lab at U.C. Berkeley.

A 45-minute training program with Matteo Garbelotto, director of the U.C. Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory, will be conducted for volunteers at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, at Woodside Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road.

Participants can pick up their SOD collection packages at that time, and receive instructions on how to collect samples and where to deliver them.

Atherton volunteers can also pick up sampling packets and instructions at the Carriage House in Holbrook-Palmer Park at 1:30 p.m. June 2. They will have until 6 p.m. the following day to drop the samples off at Atherton Town Hall.

Volunteers will sample bay laurel trees because they are the most effective spreaders of the disease, according to Ted Haynes, a member of the Atherton Tree Committee. By the time the disease is detected in oak trees, it is often too late to save them, he said.

Last year, the survey, known as the SOD Blitz, found that six out of 41 samples collected in Atherton tested positive for the disease, Mr. Haynes said, adding that the affected trees were found near Walsh Road, west of Knoll Vista and Reservoir Road.

Go to suddenoakdeath.org for more information about the disease.

Email sodblitz@gmail.com for more information about the weekend survey.


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