Urban Forestry and Arboriculture News

Urban Forestry Associates, Inc. is an urban forestry and arboricultural consulting firm providing services to property owners, federal, state, county and local agencies for more than 30 years.

SFGate published an article this past Sunday about the potential effects of the drought on Sudden Oak Death. The full article can be found HERE. The chief scientific source for the story is Matteo Garbelotto, the forest pathologist who heads the Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory at UC Berkeley. Here at UFA, we are familiar with Garbelotto through his involvement with our work in the Fountaingrove II Open Space, discussed in our previous blog. We love to see trees in the news, especially when it is potentially good news about our beloved oaks.

Time will tell if the drought will truly have that great of an effect on Sudden Oak Death. The article discusses removal of bays to limit the spread of the pathogen, but several factors that are not addressed: the sometimes overwhelming cost of tree removal, and the many ordinances preventing the removal of certain trees. These ordinances provide exemptions for diseased trees, but a bay with SOD symptomatic leaves does not qualify, as the pathogen does not affect the health of bays.


We have been working with the good people in Fountaingrove II's Open Space Maintenance Association (OSMA) in Santa Rosa for the past several years to simultaneously restore their oak woodlands and reduce the risk of wildfire causing catastrophic loss of life and property. This has most notably involved the removal of the Douglas-firs that invaded following the exclusion of fire from the ecosystem. It has also included the systematic application of Agri-Fos for prevention and treatment of Sudden Oak Death (see our FAQ section "What is Sudden Oak Death?" and our services section "Sudden Oak Death Diagnosis, Evaluation and Prevention").

We recently began a new chapter in the project with a long-term study, in cooperation with OSMA and UC Berkley, of the effectiveness of the treatment involving the instillation of more than 60 sample plots to gather data of the number and distribution of infected California bays and coast live oaks. The above picture is from the sample plot area after the prescribed treatments. Not a bad place to spend the work day!

Come and stop by our booth at the Marin Home & Garden Expo May 31 and June 1! Just look for our signature oak tree on the big Urban Forestry Associates banner. We'll be doing demonstrations of the Resistograph to show how we locate decay pockets hidden inside the tree and answering any tree or ecology questions you may have. Bring in pictures of your sick trees and let us take a look. We'll be there all weekend. See you there!


"Ray Moritz is a leader in his field! I am a local landscape architect, and most of our projects involve new construction around existing mature trees. Ray is a crucial consultant at the beginning of these jobs. He prepares detailed reports of existing trees including documentation of their location, existing conditions and recommendations for protection, and/ or improving their health. He also has a wealth of knowledge about fire maintenance as well as tremendous experience with tree-related disputes. We would not call anyone else!"

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