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August 23, 2006



Hurt my heart to see more dead oaks the more time I spent looking around Sonoma. The elms of distant memory are still with us, although not those broad avenues of arching branches that once graced our village streets and urban parks. The comparison I fear is to Chestnut blight, which resulted in the near total removal of mature American chestnuts from the forest canopy. Worse, perhaps, because SOD affects a wide range of oak species and unrelated trees, and ornamental shrubs and vines as well.


Yes, Sudden Oak Death is picking up speed here, killing over a million native oak and tanoak trees. I can't imagine a land where oaks will only be a distant, indistinct memory, the way elm trees are now.

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