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Posted 17 January 2005. PMN Crop News.


USDA Takes Action in Three States to Halt Spread of Plant Fungus


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
United States Department of Agriculture


Washington, D.C. (December 27, 2004) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that it is regulating the interstate movement of plants from commercial nurseries in California, Oregon and Washington to prevent the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, or sudden oak death, to noninfested areas of the United States.

Under the new federal order, California, Oregon and Washington nursery owners who ship P. ramorum host and associated host plants interstate must have their nursery stock inspected, sampled and tested by state officials before those plants can be transported across state lines. Among the plants susceptible to this pathogen are rhododendron, camellias and 66 other plant species. In addition, nurseries that ship nonhost plants interstate must undergo a visual inspection to ensure those plants are not exhibiting P. ramorum symptoms before interstate shipment. The order will go into effect on January 10, 2005.

The new measures address the discovery of the P. ramorum pathogen in commercial nurseries in Washington, and in nurseries outside of the already established quarantined areas in California and Oregon. This action also puts new restrictions on nurseries in the quarantined areas that ship nonhost nursery stock interstate.

In April, APHIS restricted the interstate movement of several varieties of P. ramorum hosts and associated plants from California nurseries to prevent further spread of the disease while California Department of Food and Agriculture and federal officials traced infected plants nationally.

P. ramorum was first seen in Mill Valley, California, on tanoak in 1995. The fungus is now known to exist in nature in 14 northern California counties and in Curry County, Oregon. Those counties are under a federal quarantine to prevent the movement of regulated and restricted articles.


Contacts:

Claude Knighten
(301) 734-5271


Jerry Redding
(202) 720-6959