The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry confirmed the presence of Sudden Oak Death, also referred to as SOD, in plants that passed through an Oklahoma nursery, Park Hill Plants, earlier this year.
SOD is a plant disease that has caused damage in susceptible plants and trees for nearly 15 years, primarily along the West coast. Infected rhododendron plants were part of a larger shipment that originated from West coast nurseries in Washington State and Canada which were shipped to the Oklahoma nursery.
Park Hill Plants ordered the infected plants from these nurseries in mid-January. On April 22, the last shipment of rhododendrons shipped from Park Hill out to Midwestern states. On May 30, a Rhododendron plant that passed through Park Hill tested positive for SOD in Indiana. Testing and confirmation of SOD in additional plants in the vicinity is currently taking place.
Park Hill Plants and all stores containing plants that traveled through Park Hill have cooperated with ODAFF, USDA, and other states’ plant regulatory staff as they work to destroy all infected and potentially-infected rhododendrons still for sale, along with any other host plants in the vicinity.
There is no treatment for the pathogen or disease and infected plants should be destroyed to prevent spread to other plants. Symptoms of SOD include foliar leaf spots, browning and wilting of leaves, and brown to black discoloration on stems and/or trunks. If you observe symptoms, need assistance with disposal, or need more information, please contact the Consumer Protection Services division at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry by calling (405) 522-5879.
NOTE: Any plants that test positive for P. ramorum will be destroyed along with all plants that are within a 2 meter radius of an infected plant. Host plants outside the 2 meter radius will be sampled intensively. Other hosts in the impacted facilities will be monitored for symptoms of the pathogen.