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Kansas Says Residents Should Destroy Rhododendrons That Could Kill Oak Trees

Rhododendron plants sold at more than 60 stores in Kansas are infected with a disease that kills oak trees, so the Kansas Department of Agriculture is asking residents to destroy them.

The disease, called sudden oak death, was confirmed in hundreds of rhododendrons in the state. 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 at 60 Walmart stores and the Home Depot in Pittsburg during April, May and June.

“It is just devastating when it gets to oaks,” Kansas State University Professor Cheryl Boyer said of the disease. “It will kill the whole mature trees very, very quickly.”

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Monday, June 10, 2019