California’s coast live oaks are facing a big, new threat carried by a tiny, burrowing beetle.
Foamy bark canker disease develops from a fungus hosted by western oak bark beetles — and it is very bad news for the stately trees.
The Orange County Register reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1iG7CSE ) that scientists in California have not seen the beetles carrying the fungus before.
After infected beetles bore into the trees, the fungus blocks water and nutrients from circulating. Eventually, reddish sap and cream-colored foam begin to ooze from the trunk and branches. Slowly, the tree dies.
Once the sap and foam stop flowing, the only immediate evidence of a problem is the small holes that the beetles created to get inside the tree.