More UK nurseries join buyers rejecting purchases from Xylella-impacted regions

Commercial growers have decided to cease buying host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist.

At the HTA Ornamentals Management Committee meeting on 13 July, several wholesale nurseries agreed on the following statement:

"We have taken the decision not to knowingly purchase any host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist. The decision has been taken after detailed consideration as to the potential catastrophic impact the introduction of the disease could have to the UK environment, coupled with the ever increasing number of host plant genera of this disease. This is in line with DEFRA’s good practice recommendations."

Areas involved include Corsica, parts of Provence, Alicante, Liguria, Monaco, Saxony, Thuringia and Apulia.

Nurseries signing the agreement include:

  • Bransford Webbs Plant Company
  • Johnsons of Whixley
  • James Coles and Sons (Nurseries) Ltd.
  • Golden Grove Nursery
  • Oakover Nurseries Ltd.
  • Lovania Nurseries Ltd.

Their move follows an even stronger stand taken by members of the HTA Tree and Hedging Group which agreed in June, agreed not to knowingly purchase any plants from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist. These nurseries include:

  • Bernhard's Nursery
  • British Hardwood Tree Nursery Ltd.
  • Castle Howard Estate Ltd
  • Christie-Elite Nurseries Ltd.
  • English Woodlands
  • Forestart Ltd
  • Heathwood Nurseries
  • Hillier Tree Nursery
  • Hopes Grove Nurseries
  • J A Jones
  • J&A Growers Ltd
  • James Coles and Sons (Nurseries) Ltd.
  • Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
  • Oakover Nurseries Ltd
  • Thorpe Trees
  • Wee Tree Wholesale Nurseries
  • Wyevale Transplants

Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most harmful bacterial plant diseases in the world. It can cause severe losses in a wide range of hosts and there would be a massive impact on the plant trade across all business sectors in the event of an outbreak in the UK, said the HTA.

An outbreak of this disease, where several different plants are infected, will trigger immediate stock destruction within 100 metres and a movement ban of host plants within a 10-kilometre radius for up to five years. This will dramatically and immediately affect most plant selling operations, as well as impacting on all businesses dealing in plants within the 10km zone. Gardens could also be affected.

Current demarcated areas can be seen at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/plant/docs/ph_biosec_legis_list-demarcated-union-territory_en.pdf

The list of host plants is growing and includes many popular garden and landscape plants, such as lavender, rosemary, oak and many others. The current list of confirmed hosts is at: https://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/plant_health_biosecurity/legislation/emergency_measures/Xylella-fastidiosa/susceptible_en


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