The Early Warning System (EWS) was created to alert for new outbreaks of an invasive insect threatening southern California oaks, the Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB), as well as a range of other damaging pests. To do so, we are asking volunteers, arborists, landscapers and woodland owners to help monitor the condition of oaks in their areas by reporting new cases of mortality or injury. By taking part in this system, you provide information to scientists and managers about declining oaks in the region.
Currently, record numbers of oaks are dying in San Diego and Riverside Counties, killed by a suite of pests and pathogens. Pests can be transported in firewood and other raw wood products, which means that any oak woodland southern California can become the next point of outbreak. With over a million areas of oaks in southern California, it is virtually impossible for agencies to monitor for new areas of infestation without the help of volunteers, which is why we need your help! The Citizen Scientist program is made up of concerned citizens who will monitor oak tree health and report back to the Early Warning System (EWS) by filling out an online survey.