Plant disease concerns PA Department of Agriculture

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The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is warning folks that some of their plants may have been exposed to a dangerous pathogen.

Our state was one of 28 where retailers had rhododendrons that could’ve been around Phytophthora ramorum, which causes an infectious disease in many popular plants in the area.

The disease can spread easily through contact and free water.

An extension horticulturist at Penn State, Tom Ford, said folks also need to clean their gardening tools to stop any potential spreading.

“when you prone into a branch and you think that branch is perfectly healthy, well there’s a pathogen there. You’re gonna unfortunately, maybe, transmit that pathogen to pruning utensils, so alcohol, bleach-water solutions, or even a household strength disinfectant like Lysol would work for you,” he said.

If you notice anything strange with the trees or plants in your garden, you can send samples to the state’s Department of Agriculture.

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