The Goldspotted Oak Borer (GSOB) is currently the most significant insect threat to oak trees in California and is killing oak trees in San Diego, Riverside and Orange Counties.  The beetle is native to Guatemala, southern Mexico, and southeastern Arizona.   Researchers believe that the goldspotted oak borer was introduced into southern California on firewood or expanded its range from native regions. Currently there are no effective tools for protecting trees once infestation occurs. 

Dying oak trees not only diminish the beauty of our landscape, but also impact property values, increase health hazards in high-use areas, diminish wildlife habitat, and change the fuel structure in areas prone to wildfire. 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.

Since the GSOB is transported in oak firewood, it is critical that Californians keep firewood local and not move it out of the area. Here are some immediate steps to help stop the spread of GSOB:

  • Use firewood from local sources - “Buy it Where you Burn It”
  • Leave firewood at home - do not transport it to recreational cabins, campgrounds or parks

Anyone planning to purchase or burn firewood is encouraged to visit to learn how help stop the spread of GSOB and other pests through the movement of firewood. For more information on GSOB visit