Sick Plant Clinic


Join the Garden for our monthly Sick Plant Clinic and find out which diseases ail your plants. Entomologists are also available to identify the pests that are living in your plants too! Please cover plants and disease samples in containers or bags before entering the Garden.

Lauren Reed-Guy, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle June 29, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved.

When he walked through the doors of the clinic, Oakland resident Bob Rogers was unaware that his Himalayan cypresses’ days were numbered.

Though he’d already received a diagnosis of a beetle infestation from another plant expert, Rogers decided to bring bark and leaf samples up to the monthly sick plant clinic at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for a second opinion.

With microscopes and a stack of gardening and insect books for support, the plant experts took a close look at the sample and photos Rogers brought with him.

The prognosis was bleak. While the two 80-year-old trees in Rogers’ backyard were indeed suffering from longhorn beetles, they were a symptom of the trees’ waning health, not the cause. The panel of five plant experts told him there was little he could do, as his trees’ life spans had likely been cut short living outside their native habitat.

Bay Area residents have brought their ailing plants to the sick plant clinic for more than 30 years now for diagnosis by a team of volunteer plant pathologists and entomologists from UC Berkeley and regional parks groups as well as private plant consultants.

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This article appeared on page E – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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