Berkeley campus hosts Sudden Oak Death

The Daily Californian, the campus newspaper of the University of California at Berkeley, reports that the pathogen that has been killing thousands of oak trees in California with Sudden Oak Death has been found on the Berkeley campus.

The discovery has prompted an intense effort to contain the pathogen's spread and protect the campus landscape from further infection. Experts fear that the microbe, if not isolated and contained, inevitably will spread to the campus' oak trees.

No treatment is officially approved, because the disease is so new. Efforts will initially focus on educating the campus community about how the spores can be spread by humans.

The fungus that causes Sudden Oak Death is Phytophthora ramorum, and was first discovered in California in 1995 on an infected tan oak in Marin County, Calif. It since has been found in numerous California counties on oaks and rhododendrons.

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