Garden joins Sentinel Plant Network

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Bleeding from P. ramorum canker on coast live oak. © Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden has joined the Sentinel Plant Network, a partnership between the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and the National Plant Diagnostic Network. The Sentinel Plant Network contributes to plant conservation by engaging public garden professionals, volunteers and visitors in the early detection of serious plant pests and diseases. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service provides financial support for the Sentinel Plant Network.

Earlier this fall, Garden staffers Benjamin Carroll and Sue Myers attended the Sentinel Plant Network workshop at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Participants learned about emerging pest and pathogen threats in our region, the host plants affected, common signs and symptoms and best practices for monitoring and reporting.

At the workshop, Daniel Stern of APGA generously donated a dissecting microscope to Benjamin and Sue for the Garden’s use. The instrument is a stereo (two eyepieces) dissecting scope and comes with a digital camera/video feed so it can take still photos, video or be connected to a computer and used for streaming onto a screen for classes.

To learn more about the threats to our local flora and how you can help protect the trees in our community through early detection, watch our calendar and website for a community education event next spring.