Oak workshop a success

FALLBROOK – On Dec. 4, a huge contingent of tree huggers and local citizenry gathered to attend an educational workshop at Live Oak Park, on a new threat to oaks in Southern California.

This fairly new bug, the gold spotted oak borer (GSOB), is attacking native oaks in the San Diego mountain range and so far is estimated to have killed up to 100,000 native oak trees and spreading.

The goal of the workshop was to inform as many people as possible about the threat of GSOB, symptoms of a GSOB attack, how to diagnose a declining tree and what to do to avoid an infestation.

It boiled down to having the eyes of citizens in oak woodland communities like Fallbrook look out for and make a report of their findings to the proper agencies in charge.

The topics reviewed were identification of susceptible oak trees which included California live oak, canyon live oak and California black oak at this time. The adult borer is approximately half an inch in length with six distinguishing orange spots on the external wings of its body.

The sponsors set up five different information stations under the beautiful oaks at Live Oak Park and individual topics were intensely covered by scientist presentations. The workshop was filled to capacity with over 80 people attending. Folks traveled from Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and the southland to attend this very important topic. Lots of information was handed out, but more can be found at www.GSOB.org.

The workshop was organized by the University of California Extension Service, USDA Forest Service, San Diego Parks and Recreation, the San Diego County department of Agriculture and Roger Boddaert who coordinated the event along with Jan Gonzales from the San Diego Farm Advisors office.

One special point of concern is not to move infected oak firewood out of the range of these dying or dead trees as the bug can travel in firewood logs. So, “don’t move firewood” was part of the last calling out to the attendees.

Anyone with questions can call Boddaert at (760) 728-4297.

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