SOD affects Scotland

Gardeners have been offered advice on how to deal with a disease which can prove deadly to plants such as rhododendron.

The National Trust for Scotland explains that Sudden Oak Death (SOD) – or Phytophthora ramorum – has been found in four of its gardens.

A similar disease, called Phytophthora kernoviae, has been found in one non-trust garden, the BBC reports.

Gardens and designed landscapes adviser for the charity Ann Steele comments: "This disease is still very rare in Scotland but its been a problem in England, so gardeners should watch out if woody plants seem to die quickly, keep gardens and tools clean, buy your plants from a trusted source."

People who have grounds that have been affected by the disease should place a warning for guests and those visiting sites that have been infected should not stray from paths, the resource explains.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explains that SOD has been killing a large number of oak trees in the USA since 1995.