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Sudden Oak Death Managing Phytophthora diseases in the nursery

Sanitation for nurseries

Ensure that growing media, such as bark, is free of P. ramorum and other diseases by testing periodically using a baiting method. Only buy from trusted sources from a P. ramorum-free area. Potting media should be stored on a surface that can be cleaned easily, such as concrete. Standing water and splashing should be avoided, and the surface should be sloped to allow drainage. Media should be kept in an area away from plants and debris to avoid contamination. Do not allow staff to walk or drive in media storage area unless footwear and equipment is clean.
Place a footbath containing disinfectant in front of entrance to propagation areas to prevent contamination. In addition, cutting benches, sorting areas, machinery, tools, cutting knives, and other equipment should be sanitized before propagation. If disease inoculum is present on any of these items, it can spread through the whole crop.
Require delivery trucks to properly clean and sanitize truck bed, undercarriage, and tires between deliveries, especially if they have been in P. ramorum infested areas. Plant debris or mud from other nurseries is a potential source of contamination that can spread to your nursery. Unload incoming deliveries in an area that is clean and free of plant debris. Collect all debris from unloaded plants and delivery trucks. Properly dispose by burning, double bagging, deep burial, or steam sterilization. Do not compost this material.
Remove and dispose of all plant debris in nursery area. Use a substrate that can be easily cleaned between crops.
A layer of gravel will provide drainage to prevent water pooling and splash dispersal of disease inoculum.
Plant debris around pots is an inoculum reservoir for P. ramorum. This material should be removed to prevent infections.
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Plant material should not be stored on bare soil, as the ground could be contaminated with Phytophthora, which can easily be splashed onto susceptible foliage.
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Cull piles should be located in an area away from soil mixing area and plant storage areas, especially those containing high risk host material such as Rhododendron, Camellia, and Viburnum.
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Plant debris can be removed using a shop-vac.
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Plants can be set out on wooden pallets, which will prevent infection from water splashing and contact with bare soil. They can be easily swept clean of accumulated plant debris.

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