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Fireblight

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.

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plants require passports…?

don't hide them in there...?

don't hide them in there...?

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 😆

Back to it and to quote the Department of agriculture [in brief]

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:

EC plant passport/IRL/DAFF/ 1234/ wk32 qty1 plant ZP b2
Cotoneaster ‘Hybridus Pendulus’

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.

...but not your plants

...but not your plants

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
  • Registration number
  • Individual serial or batch number
  • Botanical name
  • Quantity
  • 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

That wasn’t so bad… 🙂