US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / Research Topics / Invasive Species / Plant Pathogens / Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden Oak Death
Sudden Oak Death

Phytophthora ramorum is the exotic, invasive plant pathogen that causes sudden oak death (SOD) on oaks and also infects camellias, rhododendrons and many other popular landscape plants. This pathogen is subject to quarantine if detected. Since its discovery in 2000, the pathogen has been detected in over 500 U.S. plant nurseries and garden centers where it is subject to mandatory eradication. The pathogen is waterborne and has been detected in several watercourses draining infested nurseries in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Washington, Texas and New York. The pathogen has killed over 5 million trees, many in urban areas, along the central California coast into southern Oregon. In the UK over 18 million Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) in plantations have been clear-cut to comply with quarantines and prevent pathogen spread.

Since 2002, the Pacific Southwest Research Station has led a comprehensive, competitive research program on SOD to develop treatments and strategies to manage the disease. Initially focused on detection methods and pathogen biology, the program now seeks to apply what has been learned to manage the disease and prevent pathogen spread. Education and outreach is conducted in partnership with the California Oak Mortality Taskforce, featuring a comprehensive library and symptom gallery.

Find research publications about sudden oak death on Treesearch.