Sudden Oak Death

What is Sudden Oak Death?

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is caused by a non-native plant pathogen. Infected trees are also more susceptible to pests such as bark beetles and decay fungi. SOD is often fatal to these trees.

A common symptom is the “bleeding” of a thick sap, seen on the bark surface and originating from a canker beneath the bark.

California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) is the single most important foliar host driving natural SOD spread in California.

In Your Community

SOD-related tree mortality may result in changes to the ecology of the forests, impacting wildlife, fire susceptibility, and the safety and aesthetics of our wildlands.

Urban areas are not immune. The best defense is good management and sanitary practices and to monitor spread in your local area.

• Whenever possible, infested materials should remain onsite, and susceptible plant material should move as little as possible.

• When hiking and biking, stay on established trails.

• Clean and disinfect equipment (saws, shovels, pruning equipment, etc.) that has been used in infested areas.

• Clean all tools with a brush and pressurized water and disinfect with Lysol® or a diluted 10% bleach solution.

• Monitor plants for symptoms. Laboratory diagnosis is necessary to truly confirm the presence or absence of the pathogen.

• Participate in a local SOD-Blitz to help with monitoring SOD in your community (www.

• Report hosts exhibiting symptoms to your local County Agricultural Commissioner, or UC Cooperative Extension, or online at



Contact Us

  1. Dwight Good
    Fire Marshal

    Fire Marshal's Office
    17575 Peak Ave.
    Morgan Hill, CA 95037

    Emergency: 911
    Ph: 408-310-4654
    Fx: 408-779-7236

    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 5 p.m.