Research Line

About the Research Line

The Secrest Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program provides answers to your gardening related questions May through October. The research line is operated by trained volunteers. Volunteers will research the answer to your question and provide potential solutions.

Samples cannot currently be submitted in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When: Wednesdays, May through October

Services provided

  • Gardening information
  • Plant identification
  • Insect identification (Only insects found on plants will be identified)
  • Plant Disease diagnostics

This free service provides research-based information to home gardeners.


Contact the Research Line

You can contact the research line by filling out the form below.

Research Line
I'm looking for: *
I'm requesting identification of
Where was the insect found?
Plant is a
Where was the weed found?
Soil Conditions
Where are the symptoms located?
Have any fertilizers or chemicals been applied recently?
Has any work been done around the plant? (digging, heavy equipment, trenching?)
Upload Picture
Maximum upload size: 52.22MB

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The Secrest Welcome Center is Closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak until further notice.

Stop by the Secrest Welcome and Education Center
2122 Williams Rd., Wooster, OH 44691

Diagnostic Sample Submissions

Plant Identification Samples

  • If possible submit the entire plant (especially for weeds)-roots may be important for identification
  • For trees and shrubs, submit a branch with leaves attached
  • Flowers, fruits and seeds are important to include when available
  • Submit the sample in a plastic bag. Do not add water

Insect Samples

  • Insect specimen, preferable alive or disabled (placed in freezer)
  • Details on where insect was found
  • Place in a small glass jar or plastic container so it doesn’t escape or become damaged.

Disease Samples

  • For herbaceous plants, submit the entire plant to display all the symptoms
  • For woody plants, submit both the healthy and diseased portion of the plant.

Best Practices for Sample Submissions

  • Photos are helpful. Please email photos and include your name and contact information.
  • Samples can be dropped off at Secrest Arboretum during office hours, M-F 8am-4pm
  • Certain insect identification may require clientele to wait outside of the office to avoid possible transfer.

Helpline volunteers will not get involved in disputes between neighbors.


Soil Testing