Wednesday, July 18, 2012

tanbark oak ~ 07/18/12 ~ Mt. Madonna

posted 08/03/12 - When we last camped at Mt. Madonna in December 2010 I noticed great swaths of tanbark oaks had been recently chopped down. At the time I wasn't positive about the ID of this tree, nor did I hazard a guess as to why so many of these trees had been cut. Thanks to Randy at Way Points I learned more about Sudden Oak Death, which can affect tanbark oaks and Quercus spp. I suspected the clearing had to do with this disease, but I was wrong. As I looked into Santa Clara County Parks for this blog post, I discovered their best management practices included monitoring for pathogens such as Armillaria oak root rot fungi and others. What? It never occurred to me that mushrooms could kill trees. Clustered fruits, such as honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea), may indicate the presence of deadly diseases. I now wonder about the ID of the possible sulfur tufts I found. Hmm, always learning something new.