Dangerous plant pathogen found in Oregon
An invasive plant pathogen that can cause sudden oak death has been detected in Oregon.
The pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, was found at a nursery and botanical garden in Lincoln City. It infects over a hundred plant species, causing lesions and dieback in ornamental flowers. Now, The Oregon Department of Agriculture is surveying locals to prevent further spread. They said cases to date are far from forests, where the pathogen could threaten oak savannas.
Chris Benemann is the director of the ODA’s Plant Program. She said the public can prevent spread of the pathogen by buying from reputable nurseries and avoiding online purchases.
“Buy healthy plants. Don't buy plants that are discounted at a sale that don't look healthy because it's a good bargain.”
Benemann said cases are rare in Oregon, and this outbreak likely originated from a years-old planting. Concerned plant-owners can contact The Oregon Invasive Species Council, online or over the phone, for identification.