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Plant Disease Clinic


Cedar-apple rust

9/13/21: Laurel Wilt has been confirmed in Scott County, Virginia from a roadside right-of-way Sassafras (Sassafras albidum). Symptoms of laurel wilt were observed on the tree on June 17, 2021 by personnel from the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and collected and submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. A fungus  was cultured from symptomatic trunk tissue and identified as Raffaelea lauricola, the causal agent of laurel wilt. USDA-APHIS-PPQ confirmed the determination on Sept. 8, 2021. This is the first report of this devasting disease in Virginia. Refer to the VDOF announcement and a VDOF topic sheet on laurel wilt for more information. Suspect samples should be submitted through your local VCE office and collected as detailed in these instructions.

8/18/21: Beech Leaf Disease has been confirmed by APHIS-PPQ in Prince William County, VA. This is the first detection of this disease in Virginia. Native American beech is susceptible to this disease, as are other beech, such as European, Chinese and Oriental beech. A foliar nematode, Litylenlenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii, is the cause of this disease and can be spread by natural means and through infected beech nursery stock. Refer to More Information Relating to the First Report of Beech Leaf Disease in Virginia.

The Plant Disease Clinic provides plant disease diagnostic services to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents. Plant samples with problems caused by pathogens, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes, in addition to plant samples with environmental or other abiotic problems may be submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. Diagnosis is provided for any type of plant. Other services provided by the Plant Disease Clinic include mushroom identification and identification of non-weedy plants.

The Plant Disease Clinic is a member of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) within the region of the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network. The mission of the NPDN is to enhance national agricultural security by quickly detecting introduced pests and pathogens.


Plant Disease Clinic
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Virginia Tech
106 Price Hall, 170 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0331

Phone: (540) 231-6758

Boxwood Blight Task Force

Boxwood Blight

The Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force was established to provide leadership in safeguarding and protecting the ornamental horticulture industry, historical gardens and landscape plantings from boxwood blight. For more information, click here.