SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), has confirmed the presence of Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum), which causes the disease commonly known as sudden oak death (SOD), at a botanical garden and private residence in Lincoln City, Oregon. ODA has intensively sampled both locations and is developing a mitigation plan based on results.
In early November, ODA and USDA APHIS will conduct a ground-based survey in and around the neighborhood where officials detected P. ramorum. ODA would like to thank nearby residents for cooperating in surveying vegetation in the immediate area. The purpose of the survey is to find out if the invasive pathogen has spread beyond the affected properties and what type of treatment and eradication efforts are needed. ODA and USDA APHIS suspect that the pathogen was introduced into Lincoln City through the planting of infested nursery stock several years ago.
The invasive fungal-like pathogen is most well known as the causal agent of sudden oak death (SOD). Since its first detection in northern California in the mid 1990s, P.ramorum has been found to naturally infect over 100 different plant species including multiple high-value ornamental plant species. Such as rhododendron, Pieris spp., cherry laurel and viburnum. On these susceptible ornamental 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. A complete host list can be found at online: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/
P. ramorum was first detected in Oregon in wholesale nursery stock in 2003. It has been detected in limited nursery sites since then. In 2001, the pathogen was confirmed for the first time in the forests outside Brookings in Curry County. Federal and state quarantines were established to prevent the spread of this pathogen in soil and infected plant material. To meet quarantine requirements, the ODA continues to monitor and test nursery stock for the presence of P. ramorum in cooperation with USDA annually.
The public can help slow the spread by buying healthy plants from reputable nurseries and avoiding purchasing plants online. In addition, if you live, work or recreate in the quarantined area of Curry County, do not remove plants from the forest, do not remove soil and stay on established trails and respect any trail closures. Finally, clean and disinfect all equipment, including your vehicle, bikes, and pet paws, with a 10 percent bleach solution.