New threats to forest health are commonly first diagnosed in urban environments and initially discovered by concerned citizens. Early detection of introduced/exotic pests can assist with mitigating these new threats. The southern oak woodlands of California represent crucial habitat for plants and wildlife, improve ecosystem services, and contribute to aesthetics. Observations by citizens can assist with protecting these valuable woodlands. The Southern California Oak Resource Assessment Reference Guide was developed to assist with filling out this form. Use this guide to determine injury symptoms associated with insects and diseases.
For each site visited, fill out a new tree health survey form.
Section 1. Site Information
- Begin by filling in the site information (county, town, specific location, and ownership)
- If available, take the GPS coordinate from the tree(s) of concern or the general location.
Section 2. Forest/Tree Data
- Determine the oak species that are of concern and count the number in each species.
- Assess the general size of the oaks being surveyed and provide the count in each size class.
- Rate the health of each oak crown on a 14 scale and count the total number of trees seen in each crown class. Tally the number of any additional crown injuries observed on trees.
Section 3. Tree Injury Data
- Examine the leaves for any injury and count the total number of trees with these symptoms. Rate the severity of each injury either as low (L), moderate (M), or high (H). If multiple trees surveyed shows a different severity rating check all that apply.
- Assess the main stem and larger branches for presence of bark staining , decay fungus conks, insect emergence holes, canker fungi, caterpillar cocoons, woodpecker foraging, insect boring dust, insect larval galleries, and insect frass. Provide the total number of trees with each symptom and the severity level for each symptom. Also, note the location of specified injury symptoms.
- Mark the suspected cause of injury to the trees in the area (check all that apply).
- Count the total oaks surveyed, the total number of oaks showing injury symptoms, the total number of healthy trees (no injury symptoms and crown rating of 1), the total number of trees recently killed (died <1 yr), and the total number of dead oaks in the area.
Section 4. Surveyor Information
- Fill in surveyor name and email information.
- If available, take pictures of trees surveyed and specific insect and disease symptoms. Take three pictures:
- the entire tree with crown;
- main stem symptoms;
- a closeup of specific problems with a ruler for an estimate of scale.
- When finished, upload or send form and questions/comments to the Citizen Scientist Program Coordinator: Kathie Carter