Phillips-Rooks District Extension Agent
Agriculture and Natural Resources
The Kansas Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) in Kansas. The KDA press release from Friday, June 7, 2019 can be found here:https://agriculture.ks.gov/news-events/news-releases/2019/06/07/plant-disease-identified-in-rhododendrons-in-kansas
SOD is a plant disease that has killed large tracts of oaks and other native species in California and Oregon. It also occurs on nursery plants including rhododendron, azalea, camellia, viburnum, lilac, and periwinkle. Infected rhododendrons have been identified in 10 states in the Midwest, including Kansas. The infected plants that have been found in the Midwest have all been traced back to a common source.
This is a serious situation, and we ask that if you have purchased, planted, or maintained rhododendrons this spring please read the information on the provided links and documents below and take action as needed. Many details and photos are provided on the KDA website: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/SOD
KDA, K-State, and the Kansas Forest Service are all working collaboratively to address this situation.
K-State’s press release from Friday, June 7, 2019 is here:
If you have questions, you can email Megan Kennelly at email@example.com (or call 785-532-1387) or Cheryl Boyer (KSU nursery crops specialist) at firstname.lastname@example.org (785-532-3504).