Sudden Oak Death confirmed in Missouri

A plant disease that infects Oak Tree’s, has been detected in rhododendron plants that were shipped to retail nurseries in Missouri, including Walmart, the Springfield Home Depot, Stark Brothers Nursery Garden Center and the Fort Leonard Wood PX. The Missouri Department of Agriculture, and the U.S.D.A. reports that consumers who purchased rhododendrons or lilac plants of the known infected varieties labeled Park Hill Plants from these stores between March and June of this year should dispose of the plants immediately.

Varieties that have been infected should be disposed of immediately to prevent further spread of the disease. Plants may be destroyed by burning, deep burial or by double-bagging the plant with its root ball in heavy duty trash bags for disposal into a sanitary landfill. Consumers should not mulch, compost or dispose of the plant material in municipal yard waste. Garden tools used to dig up any affected plants should also be sanitized before they are used again.

If you are unsure of your plant’s variety should look for wilting or browning leaves, leaf spots and twig dieback. If consumers notice these symptoms, they should contact the Department’s Plant Pest Control team at (573) 751-5505 and begin the disposal process.