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Sudden Oak Death infected rhodendron plants sold in Missouri from Oklahoma & Washington sources

 
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Missouri Department of Agriculture wrote: The Missouri Department of Agriculture, in coordination with USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service, has detected ramorum blight on rhododendron plants shipped to some retail nurseries in Missouri. The disease is more commonly known as Sudden Oak Death when it infects oak trees. The rhododendrons were shipped to Wal-Mart and Rural King stores throughout Missouri, as well as the Springfield Home Depot, Stark Bros. Nursery Garden Center and Fort Leonard Wood PX.  

...Shipment of these rhododendrons has been successfully traced back to Park Hills Plants in Oklahoma and may have originated from nurseries in Washington State and Canada.


Link to complete announcement

This announcement was aimed at Missouri, but casually mentions other states in the area. The list of plants affected by this fungus includes (but is not limited to) certain rhododendrons and lilacs. The fungus spreads and will kill off oaks, as well as other plants. Affected plants have damaged leaves, and need to be disposed of carefully (instructions in the link.)

If you bought plants this year, check them, you may have accidentally brought home a noxious fungus!

 
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One of the  rhododendron plants was sold at an home depot in my area of Kansas.  The scary thought is most of the trees in the city parks were I live at have oaks that are close to or more than one hundred years old.
 
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