Oklahoma Department Of Agriculture Warns Of 'Sudden Oak Death Disease'

Thursday, July 18th 2019, 6:13 pm
By: Karl Torp

There's a warning about a disease that kills Oak trees. State officials are now in a rush to make sure they won’t be dealing with an outbreak. 

“When you find a disease like this, you try to find out what the source is,” said Kenny Naylor with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

Naylor said, “the Sudden Oak Death Disease” has been tracked to Rhododendron bushes sold at an Oklahoma County Home Depot, most likely back in the spring.

The Department of Agriculture said four Rhododendron bushes tested positive for the disease and were pulled from the shelves.

The 16 sold in both one and three-gallon pots may or not be infected, but investigators want to be sure.

“If you have those plants you can go have us test them or you can destroy them,” said Naylor.

Naylor said to contact your local Department of Agriculture County Extension Office if you think you have an infected plant.

Meanwhile, plants for sale near the infected Rhododendrons at Home Depot did not test positive.

Rhododendrons sold at a metro Walmart were also clear of the disease.

The infected shrubs came from a nursery in Washington. A routine survey of the USDA revealed the disease.

The first positive test came in Indiana, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Sudden Oak Death disease can spread by water and insects, and it can be deadly for Oak trees and other plants.