Dr Matteo Garbelotto presents the collecting materials and sampling protocols for the Sudden Oak Death (SOD Blitz) held on May 3, 4, and 5. The training took place on Friday evening and volunteers collected samples in numerous areas in northwest San Luis Obispo County

There was a great turn-out for the first San Luis Obispo SOD Blitz training. We had 17 volunteers investigate areas with bay laurel trees, inspecting leaves and collecting samples, from Arroyo Grande to the northern SLO County boundary.

I want to thank everyone that helped organize this event and of course all the volunteers. Everyone who collected said it was difficult to find leaves that matched the SOD symptom description. This may indicate the SOD has not yet made it to SLO County, or it may be a result of this being a very dry year.

The samples must be tested within a few days of collecting and all the volunteers turned in their samples by Sunday evening so they could be mailed by Monday morning. The samples were sent to the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory for analysis and the results will be included in the SODMAP research project.

Dr. Matteo Garbelotto will be visiting SLO County in the fall to present the results of our collections and additional information on SOD and the SOD Blitz project. Please check the newsletter and the CNPS website for the date of this meeting. We need to continue monitoring for this devastating disease and hope to participate in the SOD Blitz again in the future.

I again thank those that helped organize and all the volunteers.

Lauren Brown

Invasive Species Committee Chair


For additional information on the SOD Blitz project, visit: http://www.sodblitz.org

Susie Bernstein, Suzette Girouard and Anthony Mienhold colleting bay laurel leaves