Sudden Oak Death - Los Altos Hills

Initial Meeting Sat May 9, 2009
Follow-up Meeting Sat November 7, 2009

Local Citizens Recruited to Help Research Into Sudden Oak Death.
Two meetings have been held so far, the first was primarily informational and a kick-off for information gathering by residents, the second follow-up meeting was primarily to report on the results obtained so far, together with some further discussion.

The second meeting was video-taped and is presented in two segments. The videos from this second meeting may be accessed here:

Videos of Second (Follow-up) Meeting
  Click here for Background   (Approx 60 mins)
  Click here for LAH Status  (Approx 57 Mins)

The rest of this web-page is a report on the first meeting:

Just under 100 residents of Los Altos Hills spent part of their weekend learning how to take samples for research into Sudden Oak Death. Dr Matteo Garbelotto, a leading researcher in the subject, and head of the laboratory at UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science that performs research into this disease, first provided a brief overview on the subject and how to select samples for testing. Subsequently each member of the audience was issued with a package and instructions on how to actually obtain samples, identify them and return them so that they can be tested in the laboratory.

Through a series of these "blitzes" that are being conducted throughout the Bay Area, a more detailed picture is being developed on the spread of this disease and methods of combatting it. Results are expected to be available to participants via the web using the Google Earth mechanism, and a follow-up meeting is planned for later this fall to help residents who find they need to deal with an infection on their property.

Further meetings are planned for subsequent years so that progress over time may be mapped from further samples collected by residents.

This approach to recruiting an army of homeowners to help in collecting samples for analysis is seen as one of the most effective ways to derive the much-needed base information. This information will be required to be able to develop an effective antidote or other methods of combatting this widespread disease that threatens the ecology of all oak woodlands over the whole west coast.

4929   Dr Matteo Garbelotto addressing a packed audience at town hall
displaying the form that symptoms of SOD may take when they appear on a tree trunk.




4934   Dr Matteo Garbelotto illustrating the
propagation method of the SOD pathogen




4939  Displaying the different forms that lesions may take on a Bay Laurel leaf.


4949   Dr Matteo Garbelotto discussing some Bay Leaf samples with members of the audience.