Submitting a Sample to the Penn State Plant Disease Clinic
Posted: August 20, 2012
Diagnostics involves a lot of detective work and we rely on the Cooperative Extension Educators, Green Industry members, and homeowners to provide us with the best samples and information possible. Below are some tips to follow when collecting and submitting a sample to the Plant Disease Clinic.
- Send in a large sample: No sample is too large and we are glad to accept entire shrubs or trees. Having a sample of an entire plant, when possible, gives us the opportunity to examine roots, stems, and leaves, in order to determine the cause of the problem. When this isn’t possible, it is important to send us enough material so we can see a range of symptoms and do multiple tests if needed.
- Package with care: Samples that are just put in a plastic bag or thrown in a box can quickly degrade in the mail. Wrap herbaceous material, such as leaves, in a DRY paper towel. Never add water to a sample. Wrap and tie roots at the base of the plant to prevent soil from getting on the leaves.
- Fill out the Form: Provide as much information as possible about the plants and the symptoms you are seeing. Provide information on the growing conditions and treatments applied. All of this information gives us important clues that help us to figure out the problem.
- Don’t send completely dead plants! Unfortunately, it is usually too late for us to be able to figure out how the plant died.
For more information on how to submit samples please read the instructions for selecting and sending specimens.