Answer Clinic

MGanswer collageNeed answers to your gardening questions? Whether it’s an insect pest infestation or an unknown pathogen destroying your beloved plants, certified Master Gardeners are available to answer your questions or provide advice. Gardeners may bring plant or insect samples to the clinic or call or email.

Clinic Hours
Specimen Delivery
Soil Testing

Clinic Hours

WSU Master Gardeners researching plant identification at the Extension office answer clinic.

The Clark County Extension Answer Clinic office is located at 1919 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, Washington and is open to walk-in clients Tuesday and Wednesday 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. and Thursday and Friday from 11:30 A.M. to 3 P.M. Calls and e-mails placed before or after the open hours of the clinic are handled promptly. The Plant Clinic phone number is (360) 397-6060 ext. 5711. Clients can also send questions and photos of plant problems to the answer clinic via e-mail to:

Specimen Delivery


Master Gardeners can only make an accurate assessment of the client’s issue with a fresh specimen. For plant problem diagnosis we require a representative sample that clearly shows the demarcation between un-thrifty and healthy tissue. Pick a fresh plant specimen, put the cut end of the stem in a moist paper towel, and then come to the Answer Clinic. If cut plants are left in sunny or hot location they will wilt excessively thus making diagnosis very difficult. For plant identification we need a representative sample that includes the vegetative portion of the plant (leaves, branches, stems), a portion of the fruiting or flowering structure, and a representative portion of the stem or bark. For insect identification we need an intact specimen brought into us in a small container soon after capture. For further information on sample submission consult the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory.

It is a rare occurrence when samples can not be identified at the Clark County Extension Answer Clinic in Vancouver. If there are instances where a specimen needs to go the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory there will be a modest charge for identification and further recommendations.

For noxious weed identification please submit samples to the Clark County Weed Management, which is located at the CASEE Center, in Brush Prairie, WA. For further information contact Vegetation Management at 360/ 397-6140, or

Soil Testing

If you are having trouble in your garden and pest, disease or cultural causes don’t seem to be the reason, you may wish to get a soil test. Free soil test kits are available at the answer clinic. Or you may download one here.  Kits include instructions on how to collect samples, where to send them, and information on how to interpret your results. Testing costs vary depending on which analyses you choose.

Concerned about lead in your soil? Lead may be a concern if your garden is near an older painted structure. Lead in residential building paint was common up until the mid-1970’s, when it was phased out. To learn more about lead in soil, take a look at OSU Extension’s  Evaluating and Reducing Lead Hazard in Gardens and Landscapes publication.

Our pages provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. WSU Extension does not manage these external sites, nor does Extension review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these sites. These external sites do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

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Contact Us

1919 NE 78th Street
Vancouver, WA 98665
360-397-6060 Ext. 5738
Erika Johnson,
Program Coordinator

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