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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Phone: 757-890-4940   TDD: 757-890-3621   

VCE Master Gardener Help Desk

VCE Master Gardener Help Desk

Welcome to the York-Poquoson Master Gardener Help Desk

Collecting Samples


Insects must be dead before they are brought to the VCE Office. The insects may be submitted in the following ways: placed in rubbing alcohol, drowned in water, frozen (at least a week) or suffocated in a zip-lock bag. Soft insects such as grubs may be placed in boiling water for 1 minute then placed in rubbing alcohol. Insects should be placed in a sealed plastic bag or container prior to bringing to the office. The insects should not be crushed. Provide information pertaining to infestation location and number of insects observed. 
Close-up pictures are helpful.

Plant Disease:

Plant samples should include living examples of leaf, stem, limb, and roots showing disease symptoms (all dead=no results). Place specimens in a sealed plastic bag. Collect soil with live roots from the plant (sandwich baggie full). Bring the whole plant, if practical. Include pictures of plant and parts, if possible. 

Plant or Weed Identification:

Whole plants, stems, leaves, and pictures are helpful. Place in plastic bag. (Do not include moist paper towels - increases fungal growth and rot of plant sample before analysis)

Specimens may be dropped off at the VCE Office. Place specimens and Client Form in the Green Box at the front desk. Ensure that your name is on each specimen


VCE Master Gardener Volunteers can answer your horticultural and
environmental questions year round. Citizens can contact the Extension
Horticulture Help Desk:

Phone: 757-890-4940

Visit the office Monday–Friday, 8:15am - 5:00pm

Help Desk Hours: Monday & Wednesday 9-12pm


Facebook: York-Poquoson Master-Gardener

Virginia Cooperative Extension York-Poquoson Office
100 County Drive
Yorktown, VA 23690

VCE Master Gardener Volunteers can assist in diagnosing disease
or insect problem, advice on lawn and plant care, identify plants and
weeds, and provide other Virginia Tech VCE research–based information
and publications relating to landscape and gardening issues.

Submitting a sample of a plant or insect to identify or diagnose a
disease is the best practice for researching the answer. The Help Desk
MG Volunteers can also assist you by submitting the samples to the
Virginia Tech Clinics. Specimens may be submitted on Monday through
Wednesdays.  Note the general collecting instructions in the left column
or contact the volunteers at the office.

If possible, please complete the Help Desk on-line form below and bring
with you when you visit.  This will allow you to investigate many of the
questions the volunteers will explore with you.

Insect ID Form 

Plant Diagnosis Form