Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | March 26, 2018

Saving the Oak Trees from GSOB


You’ve probably noticed quite a few dead trees, especially on the roads up to Palomar.  Appointments are available for an evaluation for your oaks.  We booked ours for tomorrow.  Here is the info to hopefully save your trees:

FROM: Ann Russ, Cuca Ranch

Oak Tree Hope

If you’ve done lots of web searches and attended UCR/USFS sessions on beetles and oaks, you have probably heard people responsible for whole city, county, and/or national parks saying the cost of annual treating of oaks and other specimen trees for the invasive beetles is prohibitive.

And both LA Times and Union Tribune write, without context, that “there’s nothing to be done”.

What those pros were thinking about was every tree in their whole park or forest, which would be prohibitive.

There are things that can be done to protect some tree on each property from the invasive pests for which our trees have no defenses. Research has been done, and some arborists are doing service based on various research studies.

Many of us would prefer a surface application that could be done rather than a systemic application (that the tree takes into all of its tissues, thus being poisonous to bees and other pollinators).

Thankfully, that is possible.

Actual rough numbers include that huge specimen trees can be protected for a couple hundred each, large ones for $100, what are definitely specimen trees for $50, and small ones for as little as $35, per year.

To keep some oaks alive in all areas, landowners could probably actually afford to treat one or more trees annually, especially if not yet infected! Thank goodness!

There are different protocols for trees never attacked and trees that show evidence of having been attacked.

While finding that the newest UCR research is found under a laboratory rather than under the general topic, I also discovered the Arborist/Pest Management company that the Del Dios Hwy neighborhood picked in past for their specimen oak protection, and Del Dios still using this company. Bates Nut farm also uses them.

Aguilar Plant Care, Ricardo Aguilar, President, has 2 ISA certified arborists (and their senior tree tech working on his arborist certification) and 6 QAL certified applicators.

Mr. Aguilar could do multiple 30-minute free evaluations/estimates for landowners up here in the mornings time (8-12) on one of these days: 27 (Tues), 28 (Wed), or 29 (Thurs).

Please let me know what morning(s) would work for you, plus your address, plus actual landmark directions to your place so time is used effectively. (Optionally, would be useful if you had a rough idea how many trees you want evaluated/estimated.)

By timing this together we can each get best price, and Aguilar Plant Care can protect the most trees.

After he makes up a route, he or I will let you know when on that chosen day to expect him.

For each person who takes advantage of the opportunity, there will be at least one more oak (or sycamore or other tree) of some size that survives in our historical woodlands.

Please let your friends in other areas know that this is, indeed, possible. All woodlands do not all have wind up like the road to Santa Ysabel and so much of Julian.

Please note: In drought years, we may have to water, along the drip line, the trees we spray. Water makes trees stronger to defend themselves.

Book your time for 30 minute estimate by Aguilar Plant Care:

March 27, 28, 29

Please email your address/directions and contact info to  or contact Ricardo Aguilar 760-705-5571 or visit their website:

Best to you,

Ann Russ




  1. Aguilar Plant Care sprayed Sevin on oak trees adjacent to my property on Palomar Mountain without notice of intent (NOI). I have bee hives registered with the county on my property, and Sevin is very toxic to bees. According to Ricardo, “… because we are applying to private homeowners and not parks, schools, right of ways etc, the county Ag department does not require an NOI from us.”

    I wonder how many other people have not been notified of the spraying of Sevin in their area.

    The County Department of Agriculture has been notified of this and is currently looking into it. I’m awaiting their response.

    • So sorry about this being toxic to bees. It is hard to know what to do about the GSOB.


    Using Sevin has drawbacks, especially for the bees.
    One needs to be aware of private water wells,
    and the suggested distance from the well is 100 feet
    for pesticide/herbicide application. The potential to
    contaminate wells exists.

  3. Bonnie,

    I have many live oaks here. Many large ones. Normally I am here every morning except Tuesday. Wednesday morning I retuen about 10 AM.

    Regards Fred Brown 760-742-1328

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