Fatal oak tree disease confirmed in plants sold in Kansas



June 10, 2019 - 10:31 AM

Oak trees outside the Kansas Statehouse. STEPHEN KORANDA

Plants sold at more than 60 stores in Kansas were infected with a disease that kills oak trees. The Kansas Department of Agriculture said sudden oak death was confirmed in hundreds of rhododendrons in the state, and the agency is asking Kansans to destroy any potentially infected plants.

The infected rhododendrons came from a nursery in Oklahoma and were sold in 10 states, including Kansas and Missouri. In Kansas, the plants were sold during April, May and June at 60 Walmart stores and the Home Depot in Pittsburg.

This is the first time sudden oak death has been found in the state. It’s a disease that has heavily damaged some forests on the west coast, where it was discovered in the mid-1990s.

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