Invasive plant pathogen that causes sudden oak death confirmed in Lincoln City

According to a Nov. 7 news release from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, there has been a confirmation of the presence in Lincoln City of Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum), which causes the disease commonly known as sudden oak death (SOD). The locations are a botanical garden and a private residence. ODA has sampled both locations, is sampling adjacent areas and is developing a mitigation plan based on the results. It is suspected that the pathogen was introduced in Lincoln City through the planting of infested nursery stock several years ago.

The public can help prevent the spread of P. ramorum by buying healthy plants from reputable nurseries and avoiding purchasing plants online. Sudden oak death was first reported in North America in 1995 in Mill Valley, California. In 2001, forest pathologists in Oregon detected the pathogen in the forests outside Brookings in Curry County, Oregon. Since then, federal, state and local agencies marshaled their resources and began an effort to manage and reduce the spread in Oregon.

If you live, work or recreate in the quarantined area of Curry County:

  • Do not remove plants from the forest
  • Do not remove soil
  • Stay on established trails and respect any trail closures
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment, including your vehicle, bikes, and pet paws, with a 10 percent bleach solution.

Since its first detection in northern California, P.ramorum has been found to naturally infect over 100 different plant species including multiple high-value ornamental plant species. Symptoms include leaf spots, lesions along the twig and/or leaf mid-vein. Multiple plant pathogens cause similar symptoms, so the disease must be confirmed with laboratory testing.

Additional resources about sudden oak death can be found from ODA, on this California sudden oak death website (a state where P. ramorum has caused widespread dieback), and in OSU Extension Service resources listed below.

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