Plum Pox Predicament

Plum Pox Predicament

Plum Pox Virus (PPV) is a pathogen with the potential to devastate populations of peach, plum and other stone fruit trees. The United States and Canada maintain strict protocols and implement zero tolerance regarding discoveries of PPV in any nurseries or orchards. Aggressive and effective, but costly, eradication efforts have taken place in Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. However, Canada’s issue has become complex; found on the Niagara Peninsula in 2000, PPV has proven very difficult to extirpate.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in response to this challenging situation where resources are limited, has proposed developing a disease management strategy. Unfortunately, this approach has been criticized by both U.S. and Canadian growers as grievously ineffective in stemming the spread of disease across the border and affecting industry on both sides. AmericanHort, (http://americanhort.org/) which is the consolidation of the OFA, The Association of Horticultural Professionals and the American Nursery and Landscape Association, attended the U.S./Canada Regional Cooperative Council whose initiative is to better align inter-border regulations. AmericanHort took this opportunity to raise the PPV issue ““If the lack of resources for the agencies involved is the stumbling block to protecting our industry, we need to elevate the issue to a higher level within each of our governments,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort’s senior vice president for industry advocacy.

The USDA and CFIA expressed interest in pursuing research and management of PPV further in collaboration. Allan Dowdy, Assistant Deputy Administrator for APHIS, underscored the immediacy of this issue and how seriously the USDA is about management and control. Mr. Dowdy suggested that the landscape industry in the U.S. should reach out and collaborate with Canadian counterparts in the development of an effective, actionable plan for controlling PPV from crossing borders, which both countries’ governments can support.

For help in detection, treatment and management of disease on your fruit trees contact your arborist and visit: http://www.savatree.com/tree-disease-treatment.html.