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INSTRUCTION FOR COLLECTING, PREPARING AND SUBMITTING PLANT MATERIAL AND INSECT SPECIMENS
  • Obtain and complete the PLANT AND INSECT DIAGNOSTIC INTAKE FORM (click link OR contact/visit the UT/TSU Williamson County Extension office. Please complete the entire form and provide as much information as possible for each sample being submitted.
  • Please send generous amounts of material for sample. Enclose all plant material nad/or insect speciments in separate, sealed plastic bag(s)/container(s). Never add water to any samples. Do not mix several host (insect) species in a single bag. Please avoid loose soil.
  • Bring specimens to the UT/TSU Williamson County Extension office immediately after collecting. If this is not possible and a holdover is encountered, keep specimen(s) cold by refrigerating. If mailing, please mail packages to arrive on weekdays (Monday thru Friday) rather than during a weekend or holiday.
  • If insect, protect specimen(s) from being crushed in the mail. Place insects in a vial of alcohol and sent in a mailing tube.
  • If general decline or dying plants is observed, send whole plants showing early symptoms, with roots and adjacent soil intact. Dig up carefully. If a field crop, send several plants. Dead plants are useless for examination. 
  • When it is not possible to send whole plants, always send generous samples of above-ground portions (showing early symptoms), a least a pint of soil and a good handful of feeder roots. This especially applies to large ornamentals, shrubbery, evergreens and small trees. Be sure to enclose all materials in plastic bags.
  • When localized infections, such as cankers, leaf spots and rots, are involved, send specimens representing early and moderate stages of disease. For cankers, include healthy portions from above and below disease area.
  • Dead plants, material that is dry or decomposing on arrival and specimens arriving without necessary information CANNOT be diagnosed. Plant samples must include healthy, declining and dead tissue for accurate analysis.
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For information on Plant, Pest and Disease Identification and Diagnostic programs, please contact Amy Dismukes (adismuke@utk.edu) at 615-790-5721