Canker disease threatens coast live oaks in Calif.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — California's coast live oaks are facing a big, new threat carried by a tiny, burrowing beetle.

It's being called foamy bark canker disease, and it is very bad news for the stately trees.

The Orange County Register reports ( ) that western oak bark beetles are carrying a fungus that scientists have not found in California before.

After infected beetles bore into the trees, the fungus blocks water and nutrients from circulating.

Eventually, reddish sap and cream-colored foam begins to ooze from the trunk and branches.

The newspaper says the total number of affected oaks is unknown. Trees with the telltale signs of infection have been found in six California counties, from as far south as Orange to as far north as Monterey.


Information from: The Orange County Register,