Callers besiege Indiana DNR about tree-killing disease

(Photo supplied/Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

Worried callers are flooding a state agency with questions about an invasive disease recently found in Indiana that kills oak trees.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ offices have had an influx of calls since news broke that plants infected with sudden oak death disease were found at Walmart and Rural King stores across Indiana.

Megan Abraham is director of the DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology. She tells The Herald-Times her staff has been busy at the affected stores ensuring the infected plants are handled properly, and they’re working to respond to callers’ questions as quickly as possible.

The fungal pathogen has killed oak trees along the West Coast. Officials are working to ensure it doesn’t spread to the Midwest, where forests contain many more oak tree species.

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