Local ecologists and park officials are concerned about Sudden Oak Death, a spreading fungus that has already infested as much as 70,000 acres of forest throughout the county, according to an article in this week's Argus Courier.
Sudden Oak Death strikes by attacking a tree’s living tissue and cutting off its water supply. Symptoms of the disease may have been spotted at Petaluma’s Helen Putnam Park, where some trees are oozing a dark, think substance typical of the disease, according to the story.
That’s a concern because as trees die, birds and animals have less tree cover. It also increases the risk of wildfires. However, scientists say they are able to treat the affected trees by injecting an immune-boosting nutrient or spraying it directly onto the bark.
To read more about Sudden Oak Death and what local officials are doing to combat its spread, click here.