Rhodies in Crisis at CHG - First update
If you have visited Connie Hansen Garden recently, you may have noticed colored tags hanging from a number of our larger shrubs. Naturally visitors are asking the purpose of the tags. A bit of explanation is in order.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has been monitoring the spread of a fungal type of plant pathogen for many years, since it first appeared along the coast of southern Oregon and northern California. This pathogen has now been found in our area, and consequently testing has been done to determine the locations where it is now active.
The colored tags indicate plants that have been sampled and are being tested. Some have been found to be infected, indicating that further testing and steps to discourage the spread need to be taken. The exact areas of infection will be mapped and necessary steps taken to treat them.
The picture below of rhodie leaves in distress shows them to be brown and deflated. Normal winter leaf drop does not look like this.
We have been asked to prevent foot traffic in planted and wet or muddy areas, thus we have marked off all but the driest of our walkways. If necessary, we may have to take serious steps to remove infected material and treat soil areas, which could result in a closure of the garden. Until that might become necessary, please respect the restricted areas and stay on dry paths when you visit.
Thank you for your concern and your patience as we work to resolve this issue.