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State warns of illness in rhododendrons

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is warning residents about a voluntary recall of rhododendron plants.

According to the department, plants sold at Rural King stores across the state have confirmed cases of a Phytophthora ramorum, which is known for killing oak trees. Signs of infection include leaf spots and shoot dieback.

Plants purchased between March and May should be monitored. Infected plants can be destroyed by burning, deep burial or double bagging the plant with its roots in heavy-duty trash bags.

Tools should be sanitized with a mixture of 10% bleach or 70% ethanol.

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