LTWCA Newsletter - June/July 2007


Sudden Oak Death Guidelines - We have SOD here, folks, so read on.

Sudden Oak Death is caused by the… pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, which has killed at least a million tanoak and oak trees in California.  P. ramorum can be found in living, dying, or recently dead plants, and its spores can be found in soil, water, and infected plant material.


P. ramorum affects different species in different ways.  It can be lethal to tanoak, coast live oak, canyon live oak, and madrone saplings, yet it may cause only minor …disease in hosts such as California bay laurel, coast redwood and Douglas-fir…rhododendron, camellia, toyon.  The probability that your plant is infected with P. ramorum will be greater if it is a known susceptible species, if it exhibits typical symptoms, and if it is located in an infested area where other trees and plants are showing symptoms.  A lab test is required for absolute certainty


Even though you may not prevent a P. ramorum infection, keeping oaks healthy (i.e.,by creating favorable growing conditions, avoiding disturbances to the root zone, avoiding unnecessary pruning, pruning properly, avoiding harmful landscaping and gardening practices, and mitigating environmental stress) may alleviate many other more common problems of oaks in landscapes.  Drought,…regular and frequent irrigation, root loss, poor drainage, soil compaction and pavement are common factors causing stress.  Maintaining or restoring favorable growing conditions and avoiding disturbances are the best ways to maintain tree health.  Pruning of oak trees should be avoided or minimized in P. ramorum-infested areas, as wounds may serve as pathogen entry points.  Arboricultural work and equipment may also transport infectious spores to uncontaminated sites.


While scientists are still researching the details of how the pathogen spread to oak and tanoak trees, it has been determined that California Bay laurel, as well as other trees and shrubs, may be a source of infection for neighboring oaks.  Infected oaks do not spread the pathogen to other plants and need not be removed as a disease control measure.  Proper disposal of infested material is extremely important because branches, twigs, and leaves from California bay laurel, tanoak, rhododendron, and other host plants may harbor the pathogen.  If infested plant debris or infected live plants are moved, they may inadvertently transfer the pathogen to uninfested areas.  For this reason, we recommend that plant material remain onsite.


While there is no known cure for infected trees, the phosphonate compound Agri-Fos is registered with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation as a preventative treatment for P. ramorum on oak and tanoak trees. Although not a cure, it can help protect high-risk, susceptible trees from infection.  Agri-Fos may be injected directly into the trunk or mixed with the surfactant PentraBark, and sprayed on the trunk for absorption through the bark.  [This should be done in spring and fall.]


More details and additional information…can be found at

Excerpts from California Oak Mortality Task Force Publication


Editor’s note:  There has been positive identification of oaks infected with Sudden Oak Death on Ramona Rd., the junction of Los Trancos Rd. and Foxwood Rd.,, and Ciervos Rd.  When I queried  the San Mateo County official who deals with Sudden Oak Death, he responded that I should assume my trees are being exposed to the pathogen and if it is not on my property then it is on neighboring property.  While it is too late to treat the oaks now, educate yourself this summer, and plan on treating your oaks this fall


Sudden Oak Death Task Force

An excellent way to combat the pathogen is to be informed, and one way to be informed is to join the Task Force which will be meeting this summer and early fall.  We will be putting together a “plan of attack” at the first meeting on 10 June.  To join or attend a meeting please contact Amanda Lee at, 851-1677, or Linda Drey-Nightingale at, 851-1787.


Zoning News

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Monday, 4 June, 7 p.m. at Corte Madera School.  You should have received a letter in the mail from San Mateo County Planning Department outlining a proposal to change the current zoning regulations.  At the meeting you will have a chance to review and ask questions about the proposal.  Let us have a good representation at this crucial meeting.


Sewer News

Finally on Monday, 4 June, there will be a Ground Breaking Ceremony to initiate the construction phase for the new sewer system.  This will be the culmination of years of diligent work by some members of our community, West Bay Sanitary District, and the County.


Water Board News

You could save scarce water during this exceptionally dry year and you can do this cheaply, simply,  and quickly.  The new breed of 1.5 gallon per minute (gpm) shower heads use 40% less water  than the 2.5 gpm models that are standard in most homes. These new products appear to have solved the problems of uncomfortable stinging sprays and slow rinsing of shampoo from your hair.  Receive $25 from the Water District to replace a shower head that uses 2.5 gpm or more with a 1.5 gpm.  


District 1

Jennifer and Scott Gamel who live in District 1 at 1019 Los Trancos Road welcomed their first child, a daughter, whom they have named Lauren Casey on January 25, 2007.

Submitted by Julie Duncan


Next Meeting -  7:00 p.m., 13 June., 1074 Los Trancos Rd.   Agenda includes emergency preparedness, Sudden Oak Death, and zoning proposal.  For minutes of the last meeting, please see the LTWCA Web Site or your District Rep.


Los Trancos Woods Community Association Web Site

The web site address is:                    The group e-mail list is:          

Thanks to Jerry Jensen for maintaining this site        AND        Thanks to Shan Wang for copying our newsletter.


Community Bulletin Board

Lost Greek Tortoise - a medium brown land tortoise which is quite different than the local pond turtle because of his tall shell.  Size is about 6” x 4” with a 4” tall shell.  Last seen in the area of 115 Lake Rd.  Please contact Andrew @ 650-529-1155 with any information.