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Etiquette of specimen collection
By aolvera

Growers and their team of advisors often call on a diagnostics lab for help when they’re unable to determine causal agents. Well-prepared specimens ensure the lab receives a viable sample.

• Use an ice chest to hold newly collected samples while in the field. Avoid using plastic bags and leaving samples in vehicle dashboards or passenger seats.

• Collect fresh samples from all stages of problem and all affected parts of the tree, including stems, leaves, flowers or fruits. Photos of the various stages are also helpful in place of fresh/refrigerated samples.

• Collect tissue from both above and below any lesions to demonstrate the difference and distance between healthy and unhealthy tissues.

• Remove dirt from root specimens.

• Clearly label each specimen with species, cultivar, location of collection and any other information important for the lab or grower.

• Use sturdy packaging to prevent damage during transport/shipping.

• Ship specimens overnight and early in the week. Do not wrap plant material in wet paper towels, as it causes other problems, such as mold or rot.

RELATED: Determining causal agents that threaten orchard health››

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