National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Millions of trees dying in Southern California
5/15/2017 12:00:00 AM

Plants & Wildlife
Imperial County, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Orange County, CA
Riverside County, CA
San Bernardino County, CA
San Diego County, CA
Ventura County, CA

Start Date: 4/19/2017 - End Date: 5/15/2017
Southern California is undergoing a massive tree die-off as the stress of drought, water restrictions, higher salinity levels in recycled water, wind and new pests take a terrible toll on the region’s trees, particularly those better suited to climates other than California’s. One of the most affected native urban trees are sycamores, often found along streams and frequently used as shade and street trees. An insect known as the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle is expected to kill all sycamore trees if the bug cannot be stopped. It is then expected to move on to destroy other tree species. “Catastrophic loss of our canopy would have consequences for human health and well-being, property values, air-conditioning savings, carbon storage, the removal of pollutants from the air we breathe, and wildlife habitat,” stated Greg McPherson, a supervisory research forester with the U.S. Forest Service who has been studying the unprecedented die-off of the trees gracing Southern California’s landscape. Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2017