Millions of California
oak trees are dying
A pathogen causing a phenom-
enon known as ‘sudden oak
death’ has killed millions of oak
and tanoak trees in California’s
coastal forests since 1995.
It doesn’t affect all trees, but it
has a devastating effect on those
it does. Traveling through water
and wind, the pathogen (
Phy-tophthora ramorum) is a mold that
causes tree trunks to crack open
and bleed out sap.
“Millions of acres of land
have been affected in coastal
California,” said Richard Cobb, a
postdoc at the University of Cali-
fornia, Davis. “It spreads via wind
and rain, and it’s made some
really big jumps to different parts
of the state and into Oregon.”
New research shows that the
opportunity to suppress the dis-
ease’s spread has passed.
Killing trees since 1995, the
pathogen’s mass is too great to
be contained, said Cobb. And the
cost is too high.
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biofuel plant being
considered at closed
Maine paper mill
A shuttered paper mill in Maine
is being considered to become
the site of a $60 million production facility to turn wood fiber
into jet fuel.
“The Old Town mill is one
of the sites we’re looking at,
but I think we can build several
plants,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, who is the president of
Biofine Technology LLC in