Last March, Gary Chastagner was driving around southwest Oregon scouting test plots for a study of madrone, the gnarly, reddish-brown tree found up and down the West Coast. A variety of diseases had been hitting the trees in recent years, and Chastagner, a plant pathologist in WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center, was undertaking a study to see if some varieties might be more disease resistant than others.
Driving between Roseburg and Medford, he started seeing entire slopes of trees that looked decidedly disease prone.
“It just looked like someone went through with a blowtorch,” Chastagner recalls.
County extension agents and natural resource … » More …