Events Volunteer Opportunities

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz

Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz
Volunteers sought for Marin Blitz, April 23 – 25, 2022

The Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz was deemed a necessary program by the State of California and is being allowed to be run following Covid-19 contactless guidelines.

Volunteers sought for Marin – Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz


The Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitz was deemed a necessary program by the State of California and is being allowed to be run following Covid-19 contactless guidelines. The 2020 and 2021 SOD Blitzes were a smashing success and more trees were surveyed and sampled in each year compared to the previous one. We are pleased to announce the 2022 SOD Blitzes will soon come to a neighborhood near you. Once again, we need your help to map the distribution of this terrible disease that is killing many of our oaks, tanoaks and since 2017- some of our endemic California-unique manzanitas.

Most of you have already participated at least once in the past, many of you have participated more than once. This year, we need as many people as possible to complete the yearly statewide survey, given that a dangerous novel strain, or variant, of the SOD pathogen has been detected in California forests last year. All plant material you submit will be tested for infection by the SOD pathogen and for presence of the EU1 variant, known to be more aggressive than the NA1 variant, currently present in the vast majority of California forests. It is imperative we detect this variant ASAP, as its spread could accelerate the demise of our oaks and tanoaks.

These are the reasons why your participation will make a difference:

1- The data you collect will be useful to you, but also to all California residents, who can freely access the data at the SOD map website in the Fall of each year
2- If SOD is detected within half a mile of any given property, then it is urgent to proactively protect oaks. Oaks that are protected are less likely to become infected
3- Oaks infected by SOD are likely to die; they may fail and fall even before they die, causing injuries, death and damage to property; they may burn very hot in case of a wildfire, greatly enhancing local fire intensity.
4 If the new EU1 variant is found in your neighborhood early on, we may be able to eradicate if. Later detections will make it impossible to eradicate the new variant
5- Participation is 100% safe with regards to Covid-19 and is a much needed family outdoor activity in these troubled times

Go to SOD Blitz Project to identify the most convenient SOD Blitz for you. SOD Blitzes are organized throughout Northern California, but each area is assigned a specific week. Most SOD Blizes run Saturday to Tuesday. Your registration and training will be done online. The day you decide to run your survey within the week assigned to your area, you can collect all of the materials you need to complete the survey in a SOD Blitz station near you. Return your samples in the same location when done. In a few cases, you will be allowed to return samples by mail.  Most SOD Blitzes run Saturday to Tuesday, April to mid June.  Please download the App SODmap mobile before starting your Blitz.  The App allows you to see areas that are undersampled and also allows you to determine the latitude and longitude of trees you are surveying and/or sampling.

Be a part of one of the oldest Citizen Science programs focused on saving trees, worldwide! Thanks to your help, California majestic oaks and tanoaks and the animals that depend on them can be saved!

The UC Berkeley Forest Pathology Laboratory together with our native trees thank you for your time and help!

Last year, the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) Blitzes were deemed a necessary program by the State and were allowed to be run following Covid-19 contactless guidelines.

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