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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Zone Of Infestation Declared for Goldspotted Oak Borer

The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has adopted a “Zone of Infestation” within San Diego County for the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) based on a recommendation made by CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott, California’s state forester. The decision came at the Board’s September 12, 2012 meeting.

The GSOB Zone of Infestation is intended to raise awareness of the pest and reduce the potential for its spread outside of San Diego County. Establishment of the Zone will likewise support ongoing multi-partner collaborative efforts toward GSOB prevention, containment, control, and remediation.

The GSOB was first identified in 2002 in San Diego County and thus far does not appear to have expanded its infestation elsewhere in the state. The insect is causing mortality in healthy, mature coast live oak, canyon live oak, and California black oak trees. It is estimated that approximately 80,000 oak trees have been killed in San Diego County since 2002 as a result of the GSOB infestation. The GSOB continues to spread within the county causing significant damage and mortality to oak species.

To help prevent the spread of GSOB, it is critical that all firewood and cut wood not be removed and transported outside of the Zone of Infestation. The Mountain Area Safety Task Force (MAST) advises people who like to burn cut wood to be very careful about where the wood they use was cut. MAST recommends that you utilize the “BURN IT WHERE YOU BUY IT” plan because pests and diseases such as the Goldspotted Oak Borer can travel on firewood long distances, endangering previously unexposed areas. It is more important than ever to be cautious about the firewood we purchase. This will help in keeping another fierce predator from invading our local forests and wildlands.

Having lost so many pine trees to the bark beetle epidemic of the early 2000’s, it is very important to work together to protect the oak trees in our mountains, forests, and wildland areas. Choosing to buy and burn local wood is an easy solution, assuring you aren’t part of the problem. By keeping wood within its area of origin, you can be sure you are keeping any pests and pathogens already present in the local area as well.

For additional information on the Goldspotted Oak Borer you can go to