Stein Tree Warns of Sudden Oak Death Potential in PA

banner rhododendron plants infected with sudden oak death pathogen

Wilmington, Delaware—Aug 3, 2019Professional tree service company Stein Tree Service warns that the pathogen that causes the tree and plant disease known as sudden oak death has been found in rhododendron plants that were shipped to 28 states, including Pennsylvania. Residents should be wary, whether they have purchased these rhododendron plants or have plants and trees impacted by the spread.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS), some of the more than 75 tree and plant species that can host or spread sudden oak death are:

  • Bay Laurel
  • Bigleaf Maple
  • Douglas Fir
  • Oak
  • Witchhazel
  • Mountain Laurel
  • European Ash
  • Camellia

What is Sudden Oak Death?

image Sudden_Oak_Death canker seeping reddish black ooze - Forest Service of of USDA
Photo courtesy of Forest Service of the USDA

Sudden oak death is the term used to describe the disease caused by the water mold pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Signs of the disease include trunk cankers on trees (some of which may seep dark ooze), and spots or dieback on other types of plants. The disease can cause tree death, and this process can be made quicker when insects or other fungi appear to further weaken the tree.

The first instances of Sudden oak death were discovered in California in the 1990’s. The disease was named for the swift onset of leaf-browning in the crown: over the course of a few weeks. Trees typically take up to two years to die after infection.

Can Sudden Oak Death be Treated?

Sudden Oak Death has no cure, so the important thing is to prevent spread. If you see signs on shrubs or trees that are suspicious, contact a certified arborist to diagnose the issue. If your plants or trees do have this disease, he/she can advise you of the proper steps for removal.

About Stein Tree Service

Stein Tree Service has been a trusted tree care service company for over 33 years. The company’s tree specialists are conscientious about preserving the tree and plant health in Pennsylvania and Delaware landscapes. For tree removal, tree trimming and pruning, pest infestation treatment and storm clean up services, or information about tree care, residents may contact the company at 302-273-1583 or visit the website: https://www.steintree.com/.