Tree Health Survey Form Online Submission

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.


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For each site visited, fill out a new tree health survey form.

Section 1. Site Information

  1. Begin by filling in the site information (county, town, specific location, and ownership)
  2. If available, take the GPS coordinate from the tree(s) of concern or the general location.

Section 2. Forest/Tree Data

  1. Determine the oak species that are of concern and count the number in each species.
  2. Assess the general size of the oaks being surveyed and provide the count in each size class.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mark the suspected cause of injury to the trees in the area (check all that apply).
  4. 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

  1. Fill in surveyor name and email information.
  2. If available, take pictures of trees surveyed and specific insect and disease symptoms. Take three pictures:
    1. the entire tree with crown;
    2. main stem symptoms;
    3. a closeup of specific problems with a ruler for an estimate of scale.
  3. When finished, upload or send form and questions/comments to the Citizen Scientist Program Coordinator: Kathie Carter


1. Site Information



Location (street address, park)

GPS (preferred UTM)
°N °W

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2. Forest/Tree Data

Count the number of trees surveyed in each oak species:

1) California black 2) Cork 3) Holly 4) Blue 5) Interior live
6) Engelmann 7) Valley 8) Coast live oak 9) Canyon live oak
10) Other oak sp. 11) Unknown

Leaf idenfitication guide

Holly oak (3), cork oak (2), and coast live oak (8) are very common in urban landscapes in southern California. Coast live oak is also prolific in lower elevation oak woodlands. Valley oak (7) and blue oak (4) are found primarily north and west of Los Angeles. California black oak (1), interior live oak (5), and canyon live oak (9) are found in higher elevation forested areas throughout southern California. Engelmann oak (6) is found mostly in natural settings in isolated areas of San Diego, Riverside, and Los Angeles Cos.

Determine the size of each oak surveyed in each size class:

1) Sapling (stem <5″ (13 cm) diameter)
2) Mature (stem 525″ (1364 cm) diameter)
3) Oldgrowth (stem >25″ diameter)

Tally the number of oaks with each crown rating:

1) Healthy, full crown
2) Minor thinning/twig dieback
3) Moderate thinning/dieback
4) Severe thinning/dieback

Count the number of oaks with additional crown injury:

Flagging Resprouting from stem/branches No injury

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3. Tree Injury Data


Tally the number of oaks with each injury symptom and note severity (check all that apply)

1) Leaf feeding:

2) Skeletonization:

3) Discoloration/mildew

4) Leaf rolling/tiering:

5) Leaf/twig galls:

6) Oak mistletoe:

7) No significant injury


Tally the number of trees found with each symptom and determine the level of severity

1) Bark Staining:
Red oozing, bleeding:
Dark-colored and wet:
Staining from a wound:

Decay fungus conk:

Insect emergence holes on bark (note location):


Size Count Severity Location


Size Count Severity Location


Size Count Severity Location

4) Canker fungi:

Sloughing bark:
Carbon balls:

5) Caterpillar cocoons:

6) Woodpecker foraging:

7) Insect boring dust on outer bark
Fine white powder:
Reddish and granular

Note: For questions about insect larval galleries and insect frass, only observe if the wood is exposed or bark is flaking off. Do not injure trees to observe symptoms.

Insect larval galleries:
Irregular pattern on wood:
Straight horizontal lines on wood:

Irregular galleries in outer bark:

9) Insect frass
Granular and tightly-packed:
Fibrous and loosely-packed:
Pelletlike in outer bark:

Suspected cause of injury:

Note the number of trees with each injury symptom


Wood borer Bark beetle Leaf feeder Sucking insect Unknown


Stem canker Branch/twig canker Leaf disease/fungus Unknown

Abiotic Mechanical Unknown No injury

Survey information:

Total number of trees surveyed:
Number of healthy, unaffected trees:
Total number of dead trees:
Number of trees affected:
Number of recently dead trees (<1 yr):

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4. Surveyor Information

Date: Name: Email:

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