OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials are warning landscapers and homeowners about a disease that could cause damage to your plants and trees for decades to come.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry confirmed the presence of Sudden Oak Death in plants that passed through an Oklahoma nursery, Park Hill Plants, earlier this year.
SOD is a plant disease that can cause damage to plants and trees for nearly 15 years. Investigators say infected rhododendron plants were part of a large shipment that arrived at the Oklahoma nursery.
Park Hill Plants ordered the plants in mid-January. On April 22, the last shipment of rhododendrons was sent to Midwestern states.
On May 30, a rhododendron plant that passed through Park Hill tested positive for SOD in Indiana. Right now, crews are testing for SOD in other plants in the vicinity.
“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,” a release from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry read.
Officials stress there is no treatment for the disease and infected plants should be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease.
Symptoms of SOD include foliar leaf spots, browning and wilting of leaves, and brown to black discoloration on stems and trunks.
If you have questions or need assistance, call the agency at (405) 522-5879.