Foresters found Pine Pitch Canker (Fusarium circinatum) in California in 1986 in New Brighton Beach. The disease quickly spread to native pines along the coast, with the Monterey pine being the most widely affected host. Native Monterey pines exist only in three small groves in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties and are seriously threatened. Widespread plantings of ornamental Monterey pine in the Bay Area are also severely impacted. In 2004, pitch canker was discovered in Douglas fir in the Sierra Nevada. There is no effective control of pitch canker currently available.
Other tree diseases like Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) have killed over 1 million oak and tanoak trees in our coastal counties. The existing range of foreign tree insects and pathogens will have a continued negative impact on our ecosystem and sectors of our economy. New introductions could prove devastating.
David Wood is a Professor Emeritus at the UC Berkeley Division of Organisms and the Environment and a licensed forester. His has published extensively on the topics of forest health and the impact of insects and diseases on trees and wood products. Dr. Wood will discuss Pine Pitch Canker and review other notable forest pests. He will also discuss world trade and the transport of organisms that become pests in new environments with a focus on how to slow the spread of these organisms in our urban and wildland forests.
Dr. Wood has over 40 years of experience in the fields of forest and wood product entomology, with a B.S. degree in forestry (State University New York) and a PhD in entomology (Berkeley). He was a Professor of Entomology at Berkeley (1974-1994) and is currently a Professor Emeritus and a Professor of the Graduate School at the same institution. Among his publications are nine papers in the journal Science, three in Nature, and one in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.