Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

Disease threat from imported fruit trees

 

SCIENTISTS at the Department of the Environment are appealing to Island residents to help keep out a disease that can kill fruit trees and hedgerows.

Fireblight is a serious bacterial disease that affects a range of trees and woody shrubs. It is established in parts of the UK and many other European countries but Jersey remains free from it. 

Our disease-free status is down to a combination of knowledge, awareness raising and monitoring by plant health scientists, and co-operation from local plant suppliers.

To maintain the Island’s EU Protected Zone status, plants sent to Jersey from countries with the disease, such as the UK and France, must only come from officially approved nurseries. 

Local retailers are aware of the import requirements but there is a real risk that infected plants could be sent to Jersey through mail order or online companies. 

 Island residents buying apple or pear trees, or other affected plants online or by mail order can help keep Jersey Fireblight-free by checking their suppliers are reputable and that the plants they stock can be sent to a Fireblight protected zone.

This advice also applies to travellers who want to bring plants back to the Island. Plants bought from non-approved nurseries could be destroyed. 

 For more information or guidance, Islanders can contact the duty Plant Health Inspector at the Plant Science Laboratory, Department of the Environment on 441600 or environmentenquiries@gov.je.

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