AP NEWS

State: Rhododendrons bought at Walmarts should be destroyed

June 7, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state is asking anyone who bought a rhododendron plant at Walmart stores in Kansas since April to destroy them.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture reported Friday that confirmed cases of the Sudden Oak Death disease have been found in rhododendrons sold at 60 Walmarts in Kansas and one Home Depot in Pittsburg.

The plant disease has infected trees and native plants in California and Oregon and has also been identified in 10 Midwestern states. It is the first time the disease is in Kansas.

The diseased plants sold in Kansas originated from the Park Hill Plants nursery in Oklahoma.

The plants must be destroyed because there is no cure for the disease.

The plants should be burned or double-bagged and thrown away. The root ball should also be thrown out.

The disease poses no risk to humans or animals.

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