Two of the photographs above are of a collection of Sorbus trees that I had in my garden. They are now nothing but a pile of ashes. The sorbus you see are members of the rosaceae or rose family – the most of which are susceptible to a disease known as fireblight.
The first thing I noticed was that the leaves were shrivelled, dead and still clinging to the plant. [These photographs were taken the last week in January btw]. The buds were also dead but still held to the plant. When I checked inside they too were gone. Necrosis had set in and the stems were dying from the top down.
The cause of this is the bacteria Erwinia amylovora spread generally by the wind blowing, insects and rain splash. It is that simple.
The recommended method of control used to be to burn the plant and that was the route I chose. I guess old habits die hard 😉 But some books recommend the pruning of the plant well below where the fireblight can be found. I simply prefer the better safe than sorry route and the chances of it affecting some of the many other Sorbus sp. that are planted in my garden.
caused by the fungus Nectria cinnabarina these almost illuminous orange pustules [about 1mm diameter] take over the surface of the bark a little almost like having the measles…. [if you know what I mean] except for plants.
How they get there is quiet simple… affecting living or dead material the spores enter through damaged or necrotic wood and are usually spread by rain splash or/ and also from cutting/ pruning tools that haven’t been cleaned properly.
There is no real/ chemical control for this. But good garden hygiene is generally the best place to start. In it does infect, prune back to well below the last piece of infected material.
I was out near The Curragh recently with really nice clients having a coffee… on the way out the door… I spotted Dolly having a go at the newest vegetarian options menu 😆
Humour aside, last year of course my cabbage plants had an absolute savaging by the insect world. Not being the biggest chemical fan in the world that I am… I inspected and it was pretty easy to see why the ‘law of diminishing returns’ had taken an entirely new meaning. Without getting into the entire lengthy discussion of insects and their habits…. for the moment I shall narrow amage of leave down to two types.
The first is by insects… [pauses] pests of plants – whose mouth eating parts will only alow them to eat in between the veins of the plants leaves… the second type is bird damage who will eat through any part of the leaf including the vein.
In this case it is plain to see the Winter Moth Caterpillar [operophtera brumata] having an absolute feast.
To control these guys the answers are [excluding chemical warefare] pretty pre-historic. Assuming you do wish to end their life, it is by hand that is constantly recommended by almost all books… ie. they are to be removed by hand. The only other method it seems is to cover the planted area with a horticultural fleece to prevent them getting to the plant.
Whatever you do, whatever you choose to grow – remember not to get stressed and enjoy 🙂
it is so very true… One may wonder why but it is in fact very necessary.
So that I don’t bore you to absolute tears – I’m gonna break this post up into two/ three parts. But I’ll try and keep it short and to the point. The first will give you a general gist; there’ll be some links to government articles if you wish to delve a little further and then more info after if you really get into the groove 😆
The main objective of the European Community (EC) plant health controls is to prevent the movement of quarantine harmful organisms into and throughout the EC.
Not all plants do require however. And this can make it mildly confusing. A full list of plants that do require passports is available here. And a plant passport should appear on the plants tag as per this example:
So what relevance does this have to you the consumer? The point I make is to be careful. Sometimes a too good to be true offer is simply that. It can also be just as good an absolute bargain. But this is legislation. And although it maybe a plant – the legislation [in this case] is there for very good reason.
For example in cases of fireblight – [fireblight wickipedia] the mandatory action is the burning/ destruction and/ or quarantine of all related stock from a nursey and/ or a particular regio/ a certain radius of all plant material within that vacinity. But one could literally lose an entire stock holding in one very quick swoop. What are the options? If you do suspect or detect a case you should contact your department of agriculture.
Back to the the plant passport… A plant passport in one simple tag therefore should contain the following information
EC plant passport
Indication of EC Member State code
Indication of responsible official body or its distinguishing code
Individual serial or batch number
The distinctive marking ‘ZP’ for the territorial validity of the plant passport, and where appropriate, the name of the protected zone(s) for which the product is qualified
The distinctive marking ‘RP’ in case of replacement of a plant passport and, where appropriate, the code of the originally registered producer or importer
Where appropriate, the name of the country of origin or consignor country, for third country products
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