After I sent you information on the Oak Tree Death problem, we did proceed to have our eight Coastal Oak trees inspected by a certified arborist trained in sudden oak tree death diagnosis and treatment.
The good news is that none of our coastal oak tress show any sign of infection and are in little danger of becoming infected in the foreseeable future. The five infected oak trees already discovered in Belmont are on the other side of the canyon high in the hills.
Our home’s area (just above NDNU in Belmont) is listed on the disease tracking map as “low.” In addition, there are no laurel trees nearby on any of our adjacent neighbors’ properties (laurels are the prime vector for oak tree infection.)
The bad news, for us, is that the arborist found that seven of our eight oak trees are in very bad condition, probably due to damage caused by poor pruning in past years. She recommended that no treatment for Sudden Oak Tree Death be done on these oaks. Instead, she recommended that we plant seedlings of less vulnerable Canyon Oaks to replace our old damaged Coastal Oaks as they die. We very much appreciated the arborist’s conservative approach and will follow her recommendations.
Surprisingly, the trained arborist charged only $100 for her very thorough inspection. (FYI: She is Laurel Kelly, listed on the California Oak Mortality Task Force website, www.suddenoakdeath.org) The information she provided on the condition, proper care and management of our trees was certainly worth the cost.