SOD Blitz Meetings Spring 2019

Sudden Oak Death Blitzes: monitor disease-spread in a rainy year, be on the lookout for new dangerous strains, and test oaks for SOD thanks to OakSTeP

Californians do things differently. When the devastating forest disease known as Sudden Oak Death (aka SOD) became established across much of the coastal forests of Northern California, local residents together with environmental leaders and U.C Berkeley scientists decided to close ranks and fight back. They started what has become one of the oldest tree health Citizen Science program in the world: the SOD Blitzes. Over 500 citizens per year volunteer their time to survey their local neighborhoods for the presence of SOD, and results are made public in real time on and SODmap mobile, two of the largest databases on distribution of a forest disease ever created by man. Thanks to this knowledge, most Californians will be informed on how close SOD is to their oaks and determine whether it is time to protect them. This year, local volunteer-lead surveys will be organized throughout the State starting on March 30th (Marin County) and ending in Northern Humboldt County on June 15th. Below is a list of dates and venues: participation in a SOD blitz is 100% free, but requires attendance of a 1-hour training meeting. SOD spreads with rainfall, so this wet year may be yet another critical one for California forests, but there are several other new reasons to attend the 2019 Blitzes. SOD Blitzes traditionally focus on collections of California bay laurel and tanoak leaves, since these are responsible for most, if not all, the spread of SOD. This year we will lunch the program OakSTeP (Oak Sod TEsting Program) that will allow licensed arborists, preserve managers, and qualified government employees to team up with U.C. Berkeley to test oaks for SOD infection. Registration to OakSTep will be available at each SOD Blitz training, and within a couple of weeks you could have a precise diagnosis of possible SOD infection in oaks. In addition to OakSTeP, all samples collected by volunteers will be tested to ensure the new and aggressive EU1 strain of the pathogen found in Oregon has not arrived in California. Finally, if you are thinking of doing something or you have done something to control SOD in the past, we will have a questionnaire and some important information and tips for you at the trainings. So 2019, offer many reasons to come to the BLITZes, and remember SOD blitzes do provide a nice opportunity to be strolling through the marvelous California landscape with the entire family.

Trainings will last one hour, samples have to be collected after the training, all collection materials will be provided, but bring your mobile phone or GPS device. Possibly install the App SODmap mobile (free) before the meeting

Saturday, March 30th, Marin,

10-11 am, San Rafael, Dominican College, Joseph R. Fink Science Center, Rm 103.

Contact: Wolfgang Schweigkofler


Saturday, April 6th, Carmel Valley (Monterey County)

1) 10-noon Garland Park Meeting Room, Carmel Valley Village

700 West Carmel Valley Road.

Contact: Kerri Frangioso

2) Santa Lucia Preserve (For residents only, TBD)

Contact:  Christy Wyckoff


Tuesday, April 9th, Santa Cruz

6:30-8 pm UC Santa Cruz Arboretum

Contacts: Tina Popenuck

UCSC Brett Hall


Friday, April 26th, Napa

6:30- 8 pm, UC Cooperative Extension classroom, 1710 Soscol, Napa

          Contact: Bill Pramuk


Saturday, April 27th, Saratoga

10:30 am, West Valley College, Auditorium of the Science and Math Department

Contact: Ann Northrup

CNPS: Vivian Neou

MidPen Open Space Contact: Coty Sifuentes

City of Saratoga: Kate Bear


April 25th to April 28th, Sonoma County Blitzes

Thursday, April 25 
5:30pm, Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma
Contact Kerry Wininger:

April 26 to May 6, Burlingame Hills

Training online, contact Steve Epstein


Saturday, April 27 (four events)

1) 9am-1pm, Sonoma State University’s Galbreath Preserve, meet at the Yorkville Post Office, 25400 CA-128, Yorkville
Samples will be collected during the event on-site.
2) 9:30am, O’Reilly Media Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol
3) 9:30am, Spring Lake Regional Park, Environmental Discovery Center, 393 Violetti Road, Santa Rosa, upper parking lot
4) 9:30 am, The Sonoma Valley Regional Park, 13630 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Register for each location at
Contact Kerry Wininger:
Sunday, April 28
9am-noon, Sonoma State University’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve, Lichau Rd., Penngrove, 94951 
Samples will be collected during the event on-site
*This is a bilingual event (English and Spanish) / Este es un evento bilingue (Inglés y Español)
Contact/Contacto Kerry Wininger:

May 4th, South Skyline-Saratoga Summit

10-11 am, SOUTH SKYLINE, Saratoga Summit Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) CDF fire station. 12900 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA.

Contact: Jane Manning

MidPen Open Space Contact: Coty Sifuentes


May 4th, Los Gatos Library

1 pm, Los Gatos Library, Meeting Room, Los Gatos, CA

Contact: Guillhamet brothers:


May 3rd and 4th, San Luis Obispo

Friday May 3th from 6:30-8 pm at the SLO County Atascadero Library, Martin Polin Community Room,  6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA.

May 4th from 10-12 am at the SLO County Department of Agriculture,  UCCE Auditorium, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Contact: Kim Corella

Contact: Lauren Brown


May 8th, The San Francisco SOD Blitz

8:30-10 am, County Fair Building, Recreation Room, Golden Gate Park San Francisco

Contacts : Iribarne, David

Conforti, Christa:


May 11th, East Bay SOD Blitzes

1) 10-11:30 am. Room 7 ORINDA LIBRARY, 26 Orinda Way, Orinda, Ca. 94563

Contact: Bill Hudson

2) 1-2:30 pm. Morgan Lounge, 114 Morgan Hall, U.C. Berkeley Campus



May 13th, Karuk SOD Blitz

5:30-7pm Orleans at the Karuk Tribe’s Council Chambers

Contact: Heather Rickard


May 18thth, The Peninsula SOD Blitz

Woodside, Portola Valley, Atherton, Redwood City, Los Altos Hills

10-11am, PORTOLA VALLEY, Portola Valley Town Center, 765 Portola Rd.

Contact: Debbie Mendelson

LAH Contact: Sue Welch

MidPen Open Space Contact: Coty Sifuentes


June 8th, Mendocino

10 am: Historical Farmhouse at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, 18220 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Contact Mario Abreu


June 15th, Northern Humboldt Blitz

Venue and Time TBD

Contact: Chris Lee


Additional Blitzes, with times yet to be determined




Press Release for Professional Tree Care Workers
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This activity possible thanks to funding from:
USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry

PG&E Foundation

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