Here at the Preserve, Conservancy staff members Christy Fischer and Chris Hauser developed a pilot tanoak conservation program creating “tanoak arks”, a term coined by the two to describe forest structures engineered to act as a vestige for healthy trees. In areas determined to become arks, California bay trees have been meticulously removed, as they are primary vectors for the spread of the pathogen, especially in habitats in their immediate vicinity. These arks serve the purpose of maintaining as many tanoaks as possible, thus preserving a wide variety of genetic material, some of which might carry resistance to the SOD pathogen.
There is no effective cure for SOD, and prevention measures are still experimental. The Conservancy has partnered with various researchers in efforts to make sure our woodlands benefit from emerging science and treatment options as they are identified.