The Missouri Department of Agriculture, in coordination with USDA Animal and Plant Inspection Service, has detected Sudden Oak Death on plants shipped to some retail nurseries in Missouri. The plants were shipped to Wal-Mart and Rural King throughout Missouri, and Springfield Home Depot, Stark Brothers Nursery Garden, and Fort Leonard Wood PX. If you purchased rhododendrons or lilac plants of the known infected varieties labeled Park Hill Plants from these stores between March and June of this year should dispose of the plants immediately. If you are unsure of the plant’s variety, you should look for wilting or browning leaves, leaf spots and twig die-back. If you notice these symptoms, you should contact the Department’s Plant Pest Control team at (573) 751-5505 and begin the disposal process. Sudden Oak Death is a form of ramorum blight and is caused by a fungus-like pathogen known as Phytophthora ramorum. Since the 1990s, the plant disease has caused mortality in some types of oak trees in California and Oregon, but it has not established itself in the Midwest. The disease has a host list of more than 100 species of trees and shrubs, including rhododendrons.