For commercial facilities handling nursery stock in the plum pox virus (PPV) quarantine area, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a notice regarding changes to the Monitoring and Management Program plum pox (PPMSP).
According to the CFIA, the PPMMP was implemented in 2011 to prevent the spread of PPV in unregulated areas through monitoring and controlling the movement of host material. Following a ten-year review of the program, the CFIA says it is introducing changes to ensure the resources allocated under the GPPMP are better aligned with identified risks while continuing to allow the CFIA to meet its international obligations to control the pest.
Starting from the next growing season 2022, the following activities will be implemented:
- Increased inspection rate of commercial facilities handling nursery stock in the PPV quarantine area (such as nurseries, retail centers, landscaping companies) in an effort to increase awareness of movement restrictions and preventing the movement of restricted items from the PPV quarantine area
- Risk-based inspection of residential properties in key areas along PPV quarantine zone boundaries and other properties based on risk and compliance history
- Development of a more comprehensive outreach strategy to enhance public awareness of the pest and restrictions in the PPV quarantine area
the Plum pox virus (PPV) quarantine area covers parts of the Niagara region and the city of Hamilton, Ontario.
This advisory also applies to property owners residing in this area, where a propagation ban and host material movement restrictions are currently in place.
About the PPV
Plum pox virus is a serious plant disease that infects stone fruit species of the genus prunus including peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, almonds, and ornamental varieties such as purple-leaved cherry and flowering almond.
PPV does not kill trees, but can significantly reduce yields and is transmitted from infected trees by aphids or by grafting or budding.
PPV does not affect human or animal health.
Symptoms of PPV may include chlorotic ringspots on leaves and fruits, fruit distortion, reduced fruit yield and early fruit drop. Symptoms are easier to detect in the spring.
Visual symptoms are not always a reliable indicator of disease. The disease may not be visible until several months or years after the tree has been infected. However, PPV can also be detected by laboratory analysis of tissue samples or by grafting test material onto highly susceptible hosts and monitoring for the development of symptoms.
The two main ways by which PPV spreads are the feeding of aphids and the spread or multiplication of infected material. Propagation and multiplication activities include budding and grafting. PPV cannot be spread by mechanical means such as pruning.
Aphids acquire the virus by feeding and then transmit it to healthy plants. Aphids can only transmit PPV for a short time after contracting the virus. The virus can survive in the roots and spread by natural root grafting. Root suckers produced from the remaining roots of destroyed infected trees may contain the virus and should be removed.
There is no treatment for PPV and once a tree is infected, the only way to prevent the spread and destroy the virus is to remove the tree and its roots. The use of virus-free propagation material at all times is crucial to prevent introduction into new areas.
For more information, see the Notice to industry.