Internship Program Reports

Date of this Version



An independent study project report by The Martha J. Wallace Endowed Plant Propagation Intern (2018-2019)


The purpose of my project is to develop a streamlined protocol for staff to identify, track, and diagnose plant pathogen infections in the Morris Arboretum greenhouses. Plant pathogens are one of the greatest challenges greenhouses face. They are extremely detrimental to the viability and continuity of a rare plant collection. Morris Arboretum is no stranger to these negative effects and has sustained losses due to infections.

Plant pathogens are commonly mistaken for abiotic factors or misdiagnosed as symptoms caused by pests. Due to this assumption many infections are never correctly diagnosed and treated. Misidentification can cause just as much damage as the infection itself. The greenhouse staffs’ ability to identify and interpret symptoms correctly is essential the healthcare of Morris Arboretum’s plant collection. Robust plant disease protocol procedures will facilitate the effective collection of plant material and the expedient transportation to a reputable pathogen testing facility. Successfully identifying an infection enables the disease to be carefully tracked and diagnosed before it spreads to the remaining plant population. Implementation of a strict identification protocol and management strategies will significantly reduce the probability of the reoccurrence of plant diseases within the Morris Arboretum greenhouses.


Horticulture | Plant Pathology



Date Posted: 31 July 2019