tanoak

: It’s easy to see how tanoak mortality from sudden oak death can have effects on the whole forest community. This photo was taken in Marin County, CA. Image by the USFS Region 5, Flickr Creative Commons.

Sudden oak death is plaguing California forests

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Last week, Deborah Zierten introduced us to sudden oak death, a nasty fungal disease (known in scientific circles as Phytopthera ramorum) that is causing the widespread  decline and death of tanoak, one of the most common tree species found in Continued

Sudden oak death in Marin County, California. Photo by USFS Region 5, Flickr Creative Commons

Oaks and Ashes and Chestnuts, oh my!

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A recent article in the Observer, “Die-back kills off 90% of Denmark’s ash trees,” had me both remembering my childhood and thinking ahead to the future of the redwood forest.  Growing up in Britain, I remember the scourge of Dutch Continued

Sudden oak death killed a tanoak stand creating an opening in this forest. Tanoak plays an important ecological role in the redwood forest. Photo by Benjamin Ramage

Tanoak Decline in Redwood Forests

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Tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) grows in coastal forests in Oregon and California. Compared with the majestic redwood, it’s scruffy and small. But this humble hardwood plays an important ecological role in the redwood forest ecosystem. Its medium-height trees add a second canopy to the complex architecture of an old-growth redwood forest, creating more niches for diverse species. And its nutritious acorns feed bear, deer, rodents and birds. Learn more about this research.

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