April 7, 2010
On behalf of the Pennsylvania State Plant Regulatory Official, Walt Blosser, this notice is intended to help "officially" clarify last weeks announcement of the detection of Phytophthora ramorum in Pennsylvania. In addition to potentially serious environmental impacts, this organism threatens commercial timber production and the nursery industry. The presence of P. ramorum in the U.S. has already resulted in restrictions in foreign and domestic trade.
It is important to understand that P. ramorum has been detected on assorted nursery stock on several occasions in Pennsylvania and other eastern states since 2004 after originally being found in California in 1995. To date, swift action by state and federal personnel against infected plants has prevented the disease from escaping to become established in natural areas in the East. Unlike previous discoveries, the pathway of introduction for this latest Pennsylvania discovery is, as yet, undetermined.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry