Upcoming Events

Birmingham’s Plant Diagnostic Laboratory


The function of the Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab is to identify disease causing pathogens of plants and recommend appropriate treatments for their control. In the human medical field, this is the same function that a diagnostic lab would perform for a medical doctor. The ultimate goal of the diagnostic lab is to reduce the misuse and the overuse of pesticides in our landscape settings. Accurate disease diagnosis is the first step in reaching this goal. Diagnostic techniques include visual as well as microscopic examination, culture isolation, serology, bioassays, and other biotic tests. Soil testing includes pH levels and total soluble salts. Complete soil testing will be referred to the ACES/AAES Soil, Forage, & Water Testing Lab at Auburn University.

The Plant Diagnostic Lab is located at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center. This state-of-the-art facility is staffed with a plant pathologist/diagnostician and offers a place where homeowners and commercial representatives can bring their plants to be diagnosed for a minimal fee. Services include:

  • Visual examination for disease as well as for insect, nutritional, cultural, and herbicide problems
  • Microscopic evaluation to determine a disease-causing agent
  • Tissue culture isolation for various fungal or bacterial identification
  • A variety of specific diagnostic tests as needed
  • Soil pH testing (Regular soil testing will be conducted at Auburn University.)
  • Collaboration with the ACES/AAES Soil, Forage, & Water Testing Lab at Auburn University, entomologists, weed scientists, horticulturists, and pathologists

James Jacobi – Plant Pathologist/Lab Supervisor
Address: 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham, AL 35223-1802
Phone: (205) 879-6964 ext. 19
FAX: (205) 414-3906

C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center


The Hanna Center is housed at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (directions). The center serves as a horticulture and environmental resource for the Birmingham Metropolitan Region.  Services are directed toward the unique challenges of managing the urban ecosystem.

A large part of the Hannah Center‘s mission is to work with and train volunteers to help carry out ACES broader mission.  One such volunteer group is the Jefferson County Master Gardeners who operate the Gary Gerlach Plant Information Center (GPIC) located on the first floor of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens just below the Hanna Center.  Locally, you can reach a Master Gardener by phone at (205) 879-6964 x15 or come by and visit whenever they are on duty. You may also try our toll free number to speak with a Master Gardener locally and in other areas across Alabama by dialing: 1-877-252-GROW (4769).

C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center
2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, Al. 35223
Phone (205) 879-6964  Fax(205) 414-3906

Making a Difference in Jefferson County


Alabama Extension is making a difference in Jefferson County through programs that help individuals, families, and communities make decisions that improve quality of life and economic well-being. Learn about specific opportunities in this county and how Extension responded to needs in environmental stewardship, health and wellness, workforce development, financial literacy, gardening and home grounds, sustainable agriculture and forestry systems, safe and security food supply, 4-H and youth development, and disaster recovery.  Continue Reading… (pdf)