Volcan Mountain Foundation

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San Diego County, California

Saving Oaks--Responding to Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB)

We're working to save Volcan's and Julian's iconic, beloved oaks. Won't you please learn more and help us?

Julian to Descanso is at the epicenter of devastation from Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB). GSOB is an exotic, invasive insect in southern California that has casued elevated levels of tree mortality for several years.

GSOB represents the most significant threat to red oak species in southern California, and is considered a critical conservation threat to Julian and east San Diego County.

In January 2018 an entemologist, specializing in Goldspotted Oak Borer, and a forest technician from the US Forest Service's Forest Health Protection division surveyed oaks on parts of the 398 acres owned and managed by the Volcan Mountain Foundation. They determined that GSOB is well-established on Volcan Mountain and is causing significant tree mortality to large-diameter oak trees.

They further determined that a GSOB and oak woodlands management plan will be essential for:

  • fully assessing and monitoring the health of oaks
  • identifying management actions to limit the impact and spread of GSOB
  • planning reforestation efforts

Without management intervention, oak mortality will continue to occur at a higher level than what has historically been associated with native insects or diseases in these woodlands.

Combating GSOB and maintaining oaks on Volcan Mountain will be a long-term investment, not only for Volcan Mountain's oaks, but those around Julian and San Diego's backcountry as we work in partnership with teams of land owners and managers.

A forester made a site visit in February and applications are being submitted for funding through forest health programs.

We're going to need your help as we:

  • set up trainings to establish oak monitoring teams--Please raise your hand as upcoming calls for volunteers are sent!
  • conduct outreach to raise awareness about GSOB's impacts--Please help spread the word
  • reach out to backcountry landowners and visitors about the risks of moving oak fuelwood--"Buy It, Where You Burn It"
  • raise funds for GSOB and oak woodlands management planning, interventions and reforestation--Please donate to protect the backcountry's previous oaks
  • coordinate 'boots on the ground' volunteers to help with reforestation efforts

What we learn and do, and what YOU learn and do along with us, can benefit oaks on Volcan Mountain, on your property and throughout the backcountry.


From the University of California Cooperative Eduction website:


What is the Goldspotted Oak Borer?

Goldspotted oak borer (GSOB) Agrilus auroguttatus is an invasive pest contributing to the on-going oak tree mortality occurring on federal, state, private, and local Native American lands in San Diego, Riverside and Orange Counties in southern California. Widespread oak mortality can have severe implications to the environment and human safety. Due to the current and potential impacts to California oaks and communities, public and private organizations are working together in the research, education and outreach efforts related to GSOB pest management.