"Sudden Oak Death Drying Up With Drought"

"The California drought is helping save the state's signature tree - the mighty oak - by slowing down the spread of the plague-like disease scientists call sudden oak death.

The exceptionally dry conditions have drastically reduced the number of contagious spores that have killed hundreds of thousands of oak trees and raised havoc among tree lovers and scientists.

Preliminary results of surveys taken between April 4 and June 5 this year show an infection rate of between 2 and 10 percent of California bay laurel trees tested in 17 western counties between Fort Bragg and San Luis Obispo. That's compared with between 20 and 80 percent during a normal year when rainfall is abundant."

Peter Fimrite reports for the San Francisco Chronicle June 22, 2014.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014