Message from an arborist

13 01 2011

Yesterday I received this email from Don Cox, an arborist who has been involved with the Sudden Oak Death problem since the very beginning. He has agreed to let me post it here:

Dear Dr. Klinger,

As a California arborist involved with the “Sudden Oak Death” syndrome since 1995, I have been aware of your work in this area. I know you are on the right track with ‘Sudden Oak Life’ and mineralization of the soils.

Since the 1990’s even before we had a positive ID of P. ramorum as a primary factor in SOD and the emphasis was directed on the pathogen as the primary cause, I believed that there was a complex set of circumstances for the advance of this species decline. I saved some significant trees for my clients in the midst of SOD killing fields of Marin, Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties, with a comprehensive PHC (plant health care) approach including soil re-mineralization. I see that you have taken up this comprehensive approach with soil health as the focus and you have had the determination to stick with your convictions in spite of the opposition.

I’ve been reviewing the Sudden Oak Life website and the results you are getting with your tree care programs; you have a lot of good information there. Keep up the good work.

Don Cox

ISA Certified Arborist WE-3023A, Tree Maintenance and Plant Health Care Advisor

Don has pointed me to two important websites: – which has a wealth of information on the use of minerals to improve plant health and soil fertility – with information and services on health care for trees of the Central Coast of California

Thank you Don for your support of a broader, more ecological approach in addressing Sudden Oak Death.


Soil minerals stimulate olive trees

27 07 2010

Today I received an interesting email from Chuck Cunningham, a tree grower in Buellton, CA who has taken a keen interest in the work I am doing. He writes:

I forgot to mention an unusual occurrence in my “fruitless” olive trees.  I have been tending and growing some 40-50 Olea Europae “low fruiting” olives that for the last several years have only developed perhaps 6 olives grand total. After using Azomite on the trees they are all fruiting? I am not sure if they will hold, but it is interesting since to my knowledge nothing else has changed.

Over the years I’ve seen a number of cases where stressed, poorly-producing olive trees have responded nicely to topical treatments with soil minerals. I am aware of several olive growers who are improving their yields significantly by amending soils with alkaline-rich minerals, which improve soil fertility and, thus, tree health and productivity. The soil minerals that I use in my practice are a combination of finely-ground Azomite and calcitic limestone. Azomite is a volcanic ash that is loaded in trace minerals. The calcitic limestone helps to buffer soil acidity and provide calcium, a major constituent of bark and wood.