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Sudden Oak Death/Phytophthora ramorum Blight Update

June 15, 2005

In short, there’s still no sign of Phytophthora ramorum in Illinois! According to a May 5, 2005, “Program Update” from USDA-APHIS (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/ispm/pramorum/updates.html), “The 2005 National Nursery Survey is underway. Ten states have reported on their progress. To date, 221 sites have been surveyed and 1,744 samples have been collected; none have been confirmed as positive for P. ramorum.

“California Department of Food and Agriculture has reported 35 P. ramorum–positive California nursery detections to APHIS in 2005. Twenty-one of the confirmations were found outside of the 14-county quarantined area, while 14 were found within it.

“The Oregon Department of Agriculture has inspected more than 1,400 (of about 2,000) nurseries...; 3 sites are P. ramorum–positive.... Oregon also reported 4 trace-forward positives in residential settings. The residential finds originated at a nursery found positive in 2004. Delimitation surveys confirmed the disease has apparently NOT spread to other plants already in the landscapes. Infected plants have been removed and incinerated.”

On June 8, I spoke with Mark Cinnamon, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), who told me that IDOA will soon resume inspections of Illinois nurseries for the presence of P. ramorum. These inspections will be targeted, largely based on prior and current host-plant importation activities. He indicated that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will inspect wooded areas adjacent to these nurseries.

Finally, in the interest of further promoting awareness of this disease, the North Central IPM Center (www.ncipm.org) has sudden oak death “Wanted” posters available for free. The posters are 11 x 17 in. with 17 perforated tabs on the bottom of the page (designed to be posted on bulletin boards and other public accessible places). Each tab has the NC IPM Center sudden oak death Web site listed; this Web site has links to numerous informational Web sites. If you would like to order a supply of “Wanted” posters, please send an email message to Sue Ratcliffe (sratclif@uiuc.edu; (217)333-9656); be sure to include the desired number of poster copies, your street address, and your phone number (will ship UPS Ground).