SOD Blitz 2021

Participate in the Santa Cruz SOD Blitz

April 24 - 26, 2021

SOD Blitz Station located at the entrance of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Arboretum Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Contact: Jon Detka

Help save California's native oaks and participate in the annual SOD Blitz by contributing to a statewide survey for Sudden Oak Death (SOD). The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanical Garden is offering a SOD Blitz sample collection station outside our entrance gate.

To participate, start by reading the easy-to-follow SOD Blitz instructions at There you’ll watch a half-hour long video about the non-native pathogen responsible for SOD with information on how to spot symptoms and collect samples. Social distancing and clean housekeeping rules are strongly enforced! When picking up or returning materials, be sure to stay at least 6 feet away from other volunteers. You may collect samples on private property with the owner’s consent, along roads (be mindful of approaching vehicles), and in parks that are currently open to the public.

The SOD Blitzes have become a tradition for many, while providing key information to help scientists understand and track the progress of Sudden Oak Death and save our oaks from the devastating disease. In 2019 alone, more than one million trees were killed by SOD. The presence of new SOD strains is alarming and the SOD Blitzes are the best, if not the only, program to intercept them before they spread. Your participation is highly valuable, because Sudden Oak Death continues to spread and we must be proactive in order to succeed in our efforts to preserve our beloved oaks for future generations.

Participants can pick up their sample packets starting on Saturday, April 24th, at 9 a.m. at the entrance to the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Our front gate is located about 1/2 mile up High Street from the corner of Bay Street & High Street, toward the west entrance of campus, at approximately 1490 High Street. 

We will have a SOD Blitz station set up outside our front gate. There is limited space for vehicles outside our gate so be mindful of traffic safety and do not stop in the road. Observe social distancing guidelines and use the gloves provided at the station to open and close the box. A small trash bin will be available to dispose of gloves. After you have finished sampling please return any samples and any unused materials to the same SOD Blitz station by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 26. All samples will be sent to Berkeley where they will be analyzed for the presence of Phytophthora ramorum. Typically, sample results come out in October, and prior year sampling results are available at  

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask on-line at the UC Berkeley TreeFAQ, or contact Jon Detka (


Sudden Oak Death Blitzes Format

1) Training (30 minutes) and sign-up (5 minutes) online at before collecting the sampling materials at the SOD Blitz Stations in the locations specified below.

2) Pick up one or two collection packets at your local SOD Blitz Station following the social distancing rules clearly specified in the online training. Bring your own pencil. Each packet allows you to sample 10 trees.

3) Download the free App “SODmap mobile” to determine the exact location of the trees you sample, before you start the survey.

4) Each Blitz has a start and an end date, including the hour. You can pick up materials at the start time and you have to return your samples and any unused collection materials by the end date and cutoff time.

5) You may sample on private property with the owner’s permission, alongside public roads and in parks or open spaces that are open to the public.

6) Any questions? Contact Jon Detka  at

Thank you so much for your participation.