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UMaine Cooperative Extension: Insect Pests, Ticks and Plant Diseases


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Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab - How to send a plant sample

  1. Carefully examine all plant parts and determine those parts which you believe to be diseased (remember that diseased roots can cause wilted leaves).
  2. Ideally the whole plant should be sent when possible (small plants or seedlings). Place the root ball in a plastic bag and tie it so the soil doesn’t contaminate the foliage. Wrap the plant in a dry paper towel or newspaper place in a sealed plastic bag and ship the sample as soon as possible.
  3. If the plant is too large to make the above possible:
  • Place fresh leaves in a zip-lock plastic bag with a dry paper towel. Include healthy and diseased leaves.
  • Wrap cut stems in a dry paper towel and place in a zip-lock plastic bag.
  • Shake roots free of soil, wrap in a barely damp towel and place in plastic bag.
  • Many woody samples may simply be placed in a plastic bag.

Samples should be packaged and sent as quickly as possible. If the sample cannot be sent the same day, it should be kept refrigerated.

Ideally samples would be hand-carried to the lab. When sending samples through the mail try to mail early in the week so samples will not sit over the weekend.

Remember that sample quality is important!

Plant disease submission form (PDF)

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension


Contact Information

UMaine Cooperative Extension: Insect Pests, Ticks and Plant Diseases
491 College Avenue
Orono, Maine 04473-1295
Phone: 207.581.3880, 800.287.0279 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail: extension@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System