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Disease Threat From Mail Order Fruit Trees

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Wednesday 27 March 2013

Islanders considering importing fruit and hawthorn plants from horticultural mail order companies are urged to take extra care to ensure that they come from a nursery that is officially approved to export to a "Fireblight Protected Zone" such as Guernsey.

Guernsey is free from the quarantine bacterial disease Fireblight and is recognised as an EU "Protected Zone". This status means that host plants sent to Guernsey from countries where the disease is established, such as the UK and France, must only come from officially approved nurseries.

The importation of plants with this disease will threaten our Islands hedges and tree population and we must do all we can to avoid infection locally.

Whilst local retailers are fully aware of the import requirements, the same can not be said of some mail order companies and there is a real risk that infected plants could be sent to Guernsey.

Plants supplied from non approved nurseries are liable to be destroyed.

Anyone looking to buy in any Fireblight host plants, including apple and pear trees, is advised to check with suppliers to ensure that they can send their plants to a Fireblight Protected zone such as Guernsey. This advice applies equally to travellers wishing to bring host plants back with them.

An advice leaflet is available on the States of Guernsey website and this contains a full list of susceptible plants.

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