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How to Submit a Sample

Instructions for Collecting, Packing, and Shipping the sample

Collecting your specimen:

  • Collect plant material that shows symptoms. Dead plants aren’t helpful so look for areas that are dying.
    • Whenever possible include different severity of symptoms (for example multiple leaves showing a range of light green, yellow, and brown areas).
  • Send as much of the plant as possible.
    • While the damage may be seen in the leaves, the cause of the problem may be in the roots. Place the roots and the soil in a plastic bag and secure with tape. Place the whole plant into a second bag as seen below.
  • Include healthy material if possible.
    • If there are healthy plants, fruit, ect. of the same variety send those along. Place them in a separate container marked “healthy”.
  • Take photos.
    • High quality photos can easily be achieved with digital cameras and many smart phones. When you take a photo check it to make sure that it is showing what you are concerned about.
    • It is also helpful if you take pictures of the whole plant before sampling and picture of the landscape it is in (example: the raised bed it is in, the greenhouse bench, the yard, the field, ect.).
  • For insect samples follow these guidelines.

*If you are unsure what material to collect, contact the clinic and we will guide you*

Filling out the Submission form

  • Submission forms are available below.
  • Provide as much information as possible.
    • Each section of the form is there intentionally. Listing what the plant is and what variety, whenever known, growing conditions, soil type, damage patterns, and cultural practices, are all important factors in determining what is causing the symptoms.
      • Information provided helps determine what problems are likely and which are unlikely.
  • Plant Problem Submission Form

Submitting your sample:

  • Each sample should be packaged in sturdy plastic bags or another container. Paper bags are often suitable for fruits, tubers, or fleshy material as long as they are relatively dry.
    • Soil should only be submitted in either sturdy plastic bags or waterproof paper bags.
  • Local samples can be dropped off at:
    Washington State University-Plant Pathology Department
    Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic
    Johnson Hall Room 316
    Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
  • If you are shipping your sample, ship the material as soon as possible.
    • If the sample is collected and it is impossible to ship immediately keep the material cool and do NOT add any liquid, such as water, to it.
    • If the sample is being transported for a length of time be sure to keep it cool and out of direct light.
    • Ship samples early in the week to avoid delays. This includes not shipping on Fridays or before holidays.
      • Delays=decay.
  • Pack contained samples (sturdy plastic bag, ect.) in a sturdy container. It may be necessary to pad the container with news paper or other material.

Ship samples to:

Clinic USPS mailing address:
Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic
Department of Plant Pathology
P.O. Box 646430
Pullman, WA  99164-6430
UPS and FedEx address:
Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic
345 Johnson Hall
100 Dairy Road
Pullman, WA  99164

Have Questions?

If you have questions on how to collect and submit a sample, call or email the clinic. (509) 335-3292 or