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Ogle County help line opens

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

OREGON – The Ogle County Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions Monday.

The Hotline Help Desk will be from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the extension office, 421 W. Pines Road.

Help also is available online at and 815-732-2191.

Clients are encouraged to email or bring in photos or drop off samples of troubled plants, trees, or shrubs.

Tips when seeking information include:

■ When bringing in photos, include the surrounding environment. If possible, bring in the entire plant, especially if it is a vegetable, annual, or perennial flower.

■ Woody plant samples should be as large as practical.

Collect samples from areas that still are alive and showing symptoms.

■ Do not collect dead plants.

Often tissues have been invaded by other fungi and bacteria, and the original pathogen is no longer detectable.

■ Collect several plant specimens showing a range of symptoms. Collect both healthy and damaged plant parts.

■ Provide as much background and related information as possible.

Make note of flooding, shade, environmental changes, pesticides used ,and fertilizer history. Watch for any observable patterns or uniformity.

■ It may be necessary to wait until the plant blooms for a botanical identification.

■ After collecting samples, do not expose them to direct sunlight.

Keep them cool and do not allow them to dry out.

Weeds tend to wilt quickly, consider placing them between two pieces of moist paper towel and bring them in as soon as possible.

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