Scouting for Disease
Every nursery should have a scouting program to detect and control Phytophthora species. This section describes a general scouting program specially adapted for Phytophthora diseases, but the program can also be used for many other pests and diseases.
Step 1: Setting Up a Phytophthora Scouting Program.
The first step in starting a Phytophthora scouting program is to list what plants are grown in each area of the nursery. While all plants will need to be scouted, areas where susceptible hosts are grown and where the conditions most favor the growth of Phytophthora disease are your “high-risk” areas and will need more frequent and thorough inspections. These areas might include:
- Low areas in fields or container yards, or any place where water puddles and contacts plants. Low areas are great growing grounds for Phytophthora disease development.
- Any place where leaf debris has collected.
- Any areas where plants have recently been brought into the nursery from another location.
- Areas with Rhododendron, Camellia, Kalmia, Viburnum, and Pieris which are highly susceptible to Phytophthora ramorum and other Phytophthora species.
Be sure to include high-risk plants and poorly drained areas in your scouting program.
Photo by C. Lewis.