Senate Bill 1712

SB 1712, introduced by Senator McPherson & Assembly Member Keeley, was signed by Governor Pete Wilson on Sept. 21, 1998. The Bill provides the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) $350,000 per year for each of the next six years, for a total of $2.1 million to address pitch canker.

Specifically the funds are to be used by the Department for, but not limited to the following:

  • Prevent transportation of infected plant material from infested to uninfested areas.
  • Establish permanent monitoring plots.
  • Incorporate relevant information about pitch canker into landscape, resource management and conservation plans.
  • Utilization of local, native (pitch canker resistant) seed when regenerating Monterey pine.
  • Develop a broad-based public education program that increases the awareness of the general public, tree care professionals, and public officials; provides management guidelines; explains the importance of controlling pitch canker; and makes recommendations for research.

For more information on implementation of SB 1712, contact the Deputy Chief Forestry Assistance, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Implementation of the Pitch Canker Management Program
- Fiscal Year 1998-99

The following projects will be funded with multi-year contracts. While most of the funds for these projects are from the Pitch Canker Management account created by SB 1712, funds from the CDF Forest Pest Management Program also support these projects.

California Department of Food and Agriculture - $54,000

Conduct a survey to monitor disease movement within and outside of the Pitch Canker Zone of Infestation. A survey along the perimeter of known pitch canker infestations will be implemented to detect the early spread of the disease beyond where it is now known. This is a two-year project.

California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo - $275,000

Research in a native Monterey pine stand will identify silvicultural treatments that will mitigate the impacts of pitch canker, determine the level of native disease resistance in the stand, and develop methods that will help to preserve Monterey pine forest diversity. This is a five-year project.

Cambria Community Services District - $100,000

Development of a long-term forest management plan for the Monterey pine forest in the Cambria area. Plan development and implementation will include a Forest Management Plan, Public Education, and Forest Management Plan Implementation. A two-year project is planned.

University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Agriculture and Resource Economics - $26,089

The project has four specific objectives: 1) to create a database of susceptible tree population characteristics and management costs for at least eight urban forests in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco Counties, 2) to develop and use a statistical model of tree removal to forecast the timing and magnitude of fiscal and tree 'waste' impacts of the disease for the urban forests in the database, 3) to identify some new disposal options within the zone of infestation, and 4) to publish and widely publicize the results of the research. This is a two-year project.

University of California, Davis. Department of Plant Pathology - $401,576

Perform studies to understand disease, vector, and pine host relationships with respect to appropriate management of pine forests throughout the State. Work during the first two years will also provide for investigation into genetic conservation of Monterey pine in California. A five-year project is planned.

University of California, Davis. Genetic Resources Conservation Program - $63,924

This project will assess the genetic resources of native Monterey pine forests, and develop a plan for their conservation. This is a two-year project.

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station - $30,000

This work will provide the following information: 1) inoculum density of pitch canker on cone surface as relates to host, weather, and disease intensity, 2) pitch canker contamination of Monterey pine seed, 3) pitch canker occurrence on and in Monterey pine seed, 4) elimination of pitch canker from contaminated seed by selected seed treatments, 5) the association of pitch canker with cones and seeds of other coastal pine species. This is a two-year project.

For more information on implementation of SB 1712, contact the Deputy Chief Forestry Assistance, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.


back to top

Coastal Pitch Canker Zone of Infestation

WHEREAS, Public Resources Code, Article 5, Section 4712 through Section 4718 provides that whenever the Director determines that there exists an area which is infested or infected with plant diseases injurious to timber or forest growth and that the infestation or infection is of such a character as to be a menace to the timber or timberlands of California, the Director, with the approval of the State Board of Forestry, may declare a zone of infestation and describe and fix its boundaries; and

WHEREAS, said Sections provide that the Department or its agents shall cause the infestation or infection to be controlled in a manner approved by the Board; and

WHEREAS, The Director has determined that there exists an infestation or infection of the fungal disease Pitch Canker, and such infestation or infection is a plant disease injurious to timber or forest growth in several counties in the State of California within the following described boundaries (See map):

All of the area within the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Mendocino, Napa, Orange, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Ventura; and the portion of San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties which is westerly of the line beginning at the San Bernardino / Los Angeles County line and proceeding easterly along State Route (SR) 138 to Interstate Highway (I) 15; thence southerly along I-15 to I-215; thence southerly along I-215 to I-15; thence southerly along I-15 to SR-79; then southerly along SR-79 to I-8; thence easterly along I-8 to the San Diego / Imperial County line; thence southerly along the San Diego / Imperial County line to the U.S. / Mexico border.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the State Board of Forestry in Regular Meeting in Visalia, California on June 4, 1997, that said Board does hereby approve the declaration by the Director of the Coastal Pitch Canker Zone of Infestation within the boundaries of and comprising the area described above; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director, in accordance with the established Forest Pest Management policy of the State Board of Forestry, and in the absence of action by other agencies, is hereby authorized to take actions which would control the movement, disposal and use of woody material infected with Pitch Canker and to use such funds as have been or may hereafter be made available for the purpose of controlling, managing, researching and educating the people of California about said infestation.

Dean Cromwell, Executive Officer State Board of Forestry

Robert Kerstiens, Chairman State Board of Forestry

back to top

Position Paper on the Retention of Pines Infected with Pitch Canker

(REVISED September 25, 2001)

The purpose of this document is to update the position of the Pitch Canker Task Force concerning when the presence of pitch canker justifies the removal of a diseased tree. Decisions concerning tree removal are often complex and the following information is a general policy statement and not a substitute for on-site professional hazard tree evaluation.

Monterey pine, along with many other pine species, is susceptible to pitch canker. The earliest symptom of pitch canker is dieback in the canopy, caused by infections on individual branches. Infections on large branches and the main stem of a tree can lead to top-kill and, in some cases, death of the entire tree. Trees differ in their susceptibility to pitch canker (see "What is Genetic Resistance?"), but nearly all will sustain some infections. Thus, when a tree shows early symptoms of pitch canker, it is not possible to predict how far the disease will progress in that tree. Recent research indicates that approximately 10% of Monterey pines are at least somewhat resistant to pitch canker; and will not sustain serious damage from this disease. Furthermore, some trees that do become heavily infected will recover from pitch canker.

Pitch canker infection is not a sole reason to remove a tree. The decision to remove a tree should be based on more general criteria, such as safety. Thus, if a tree has been deemed hazardous for any reason, it should be removed, regardless of its prospects for recovery from pitch canker.

Any recovery of the tree will be from living material. Infected trees may have numerous dead branches or the top section of the tree may be dead. Dead parts of the tree will not recover and will become increasingly weakened and unpredictable over time. Large dead material should be mitigated as soon as possible. Sometimes the tree may need to be removed even if it shows signs of recovery.

Most pitch canker affected trees will be found in areas where the disease is already present, and the above policy will be applicable. However, where pitch canker occurs in an area that is otherwise free of the disease, more aggressive efforts might be appropriate. To determine if this is applicable to your situation, contact your city forester, county agriculture commissioner, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or your local U.C. Cooperative Extension office. Please keep in mind that county or municipal regulations may require that a permit be obtained prior to tree removal.

back to top