Eight-Year Plum Pox Quarantine Lifted in Adams County Township

No Virus Detected in Any Area of Pennsylvania for Second Consecutive Year

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced today that a quarantine for the Plum Pox Virus, a disease that severely affects fruit tree production, has been rescinded for a portion of Tyrone Township, Adams County.

Residents in the portion of the township north of Cranberry Road may now plant and sell stone fruit trees, said Wolff. Now, less than 50 square miles of land remain under quarantine, including portions of Butler, Franklin and Menallen townships in Adams County, and the portion of South Middleton Township north of Route 174 in Cumberland County.

Infected fruit may appear deformed or blemished and could drop prematurely from trees, but causes no harm to animals or people who eat the fruit. The virus was discovered in Tyrone Township in 2000.

“I am pleased to lift the quarantine in a portion of Tyrone Township,” said Wolff. “Thanks to our aggressive surveillance and eradication program for the Plum Pox Virus, I am hopeful that we can continue to provide good news to Pennsylvania’s fruit industry and stone fruit growers.”

When a quarantine is issued, certain fruit trees in the Prunus species may not be planted within the quarantine zone. Prunus fruit tree species include apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach and plum trees. Ornamental trees and shrubs such as flowering almond and peach trees, purple-leaf plum and sand cherry are also in the Prunus species.

Stone fruit trees in Tyrone Township have been sampled and tested for the past eight years and all tests in the area have been negative for the Plum Pox Virus for the past three years.

To rescind a quarantine, there must be three consecutive years of negative survey data.

“For the second consecutive year, no virus has been found in any area of Pennsylvania,” said Wolff. “Eradication has been and continues to be our goal, and we will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a survey of Prunus trees in 2009 to help reach that goal.”

For more information about the Plum Pox Virus Eradication Program, quarantine details, and the history of the disease, call 717-772-5226 or visit http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on “Animal and Plant Health,” then “Plum Pox.”

    Nicole L. C. Bucher
    (717) 787-5085

[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]

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