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VIRUSES & VIRAL PLANTS: Pt. 1

VIRUSES & VIRAL PLANTS: Pt. 1

As our extensive human history can exhibit, plagues and viruses have been claiming victims as early as 3000 B.C. But viruses specifically, really hit their sweet spot in manifestation around the end of the 1800s and well into the early 1900s. In recent years, viruses have become more aggressive in variation leading to our modern-day collection of coronaviruses.

To limit your thinking that humans are the only species that can be infected by viruses, like the novel coronavirus, would be a narrow approach to the subject. Especially considering that, for every organism on this planet, there is also a virus that can infect it.

HOW DOES A VIRUS WORK?

Most viruses are quite small, microscopically small in fact. Viruses are so microscopically small, they typically require an electron microscope just to be seen. They consist of three parts, the nucleic acid, a coat of protein, and a lipid membrane to seal it all in. The nucleic acid is the center of the virus and contains the DNA or RNA of the particle. Viruses come in all shapes and sizes and can look like a spiky ball, a creature from the Black Lagoon, or anything in between.

Due to the lack of complexity of a virus, for the virus to replicate or “live,” it must have a host cell. Without the host, the virus does not function. But, inside a host, the virus mutates into a villainous menace wreaking havoc on its occupant.

TYPES OF VIRUSES

There are several different types of viruses. In fact, there’s more like hundreds of thousands of different viruses on our planet. There are so many viruses inhabiting every aspect of the Earth’s ecosystems, that it is thought that they could be the most abundant type of biological entity.

THE RAREST OF VIRUSES

Out of all the viruses that exist on this planet, there are only three that can infect humans, plants, AND animals. These types of viruses are rare. But, learning more about them, you’ll discover you’ve seen more of them than you’d think.

There are three types of viruses that can infect humans, plants, and animals. They are Bunyaviridae, Rhabdoviridae, and Reoviridae. Each of these viruses has different functionalities and tendencies, but each one is still capable of causing a viral infection in you and your plants. So, let’s look at them more closely.

BUNYAVIRIDAE

This family of viruses is a single strand virus with enveloped RNAs.The family is very large and has five different genera: Orthobunyavirus, Phlebovirus, Nairovirus, Hantavirus, and Tospovirus. Four of the five viruses infect vertebrates, with only one of the four infecting only arthropods. But last, and most certainly not least, the Tospovirus infects only plants.

While the first four genera of the Bunyaviridae viruses are interesting and definitely worth knowing more about, for the sake of this blog and our interest in plants, we’re going to be specifically discussing Tospoviruses.

THE TOSPORVIRUS

The Tospovirus can be transmitted between plants by thrips and replicate in both the Thripidae and the plant cells. Upon first researching this topic, it was expected to find more rare and unknown types of infections that were caused by the virus. So much to my surprise, discovering that thrips was an insect vector component to the same family of viruses that typically cause hemorrhagic fevering in humans, really caught me off guard.

This virus was identified by scientists in 2014 as one of the most economically important and damaging plant viruses. As many plant owners are aware, thrips can quickly wreak havoc on fundamental crops such as potatoes, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables. But, thrips also has the potential to infect greenhouse plants, as well as flowering plants too.

DAMAGE FROM THE VIRUS

For some plants, the damage that Tospovirusthrips can cause may simply result in an unsightly plant with little to harm done to the health of it. But for herbaceous ornamentals or vegetable crops, a viral thrips infestation can destroy the entire potential of the plant, especially while young. The viral pests feeding on the plant can cause stunted growth and loss of leaves from premature dropping due to the damage caused. Another cause of thrips, in some parts of the world, is silvering. This type of damage causes flowering to fail in setting fruit on the infected plant.

Dying leaves of an infected plant

One of the most fascinating components of this viral pest is the way that it repopulates and obtains the virus. In order for the pest to contract the virus, they must be in the larvae stage and must feed off of an infected plant. This is the only way that the thrip can contract the virus. However, both the larvae and adult thrips can spread the infection.

FINDING A SOLUTION

With 14 different species of thrips circulating the world, it’s no surprise that numerous solutions have since been developed. One solution is our very own Plant Sentry. There are other solutions out there to protect your plants from these viral pests, but doing so can be time-consuming and require a strong sense of sight.

It is commonly suggested to use a magnifying glass to view the thrips in their larvae stage or identify eggs on the underside of leaves on your plant. Another way to try and maintain control over this viral pest is to use a natural pesticide. Often it is suggested to curb a thrips infestation by pruning, however, if you aren’t careful, and you don’t clean your shears thoroughly the infestation can spread instead of remediating the problem.

LOOKING FORWARD

If you have somehow managed to avoid the word “Coronavirus” up until this point, I apologize, but you are now in the same boat as the rest of us. The past month around the world has been nothing short of a real-life “dumpster fire” and most of the globe is now confined to the inside of their homes. But, there’s a silver lining to this pandemic. As we’ve seen throughout history, we will overcome this challenge and become stronger than we were before.

As we mentioned many paragraphs ago, there are still two other types of viruses that belong to a family of viruses that can infect humans, animals, and plants. For this week, we discussed the Bunyaviridae family. Come back next week to learn about another viral family. And as always, if you’re looking for a shipping solution to help manage pests, invasive species, and diseases visit our contact us page to learn more!

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Green Industry Vital to Wellness

Green Industry Vital to Wellness

Looks like Spring 2020 will be one to remember. It is never easy when something like COVID-19 comes at you so fast.

These unprecedented times are filled with uncertainty. In order to keep moving forward and successfully navigate these coming days, people are taking extra precautions. New adjustments are being made.

Getting Through This with Hardworking Teams and Positive Mindsets

Plant Sentry™ aims to maintain quality at its peak. Cleanliness has always been a major key to the health of our crops. The many protocols we have in place ensure the utmost success in helping companies and consumers keep plants healthy and free from unwanted pests, diseases, and invasive species.

We take pride in helping safeguard plant shipments through every step so that both businesses and consumers triumph.

We are proud to serve such a passionate industry that continues to spread joy from door to door. 

People Will Turn to the Green Industry to Feel Better

In times of chaos, plants have proven to be some of the best therapy. In the coming days, more Americans will stay closer to home, and they will certainly be looking for things to do around the house.

Plants do not simply enhance the beauty of our surroundings. Equally important, they offer an outlet to escape the nearby negativity, and at the same time, give people a sense of peace and serenity.

As we in the industry know, those small moments with nature are crucial to maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul.

Get the Message Out That There is No Better Time to Plant

Whether it be inside or out, plant therapy is not a once in a lifetime activity. Rather, it can be an important part of each day or week.

In times such as these, planting safely is more important than ever, and there are plenty of ways to go about it.

For businesses, teaming with Plant Sentry™ will most certainly help conquer the toughest challenges. The processes we use can help keep business doors open, allowing companies to ship plants locally and nationwide in a compliant manner.

For consumers, purchasing verified, healthy plants from such businesses will encourage safe and satisfying planting.

To all, keep planting America with Plant Sentry™ at your side. Let’s not only enjoy the beauty that plant products have to offer but appreciate the healing effect that planting also has.

As one final note, it is critical to mention that our team at Plant Sentry™ goes above and beyond to stay up-to-date with the regulatory environment, providing a level of certainty we need.

Impacts like COVID-19 often bring out the best in our industry. We continue to push through these challenges to better our environment and serve all of you. 

Best regards,

The Staff at Plant Sentry™

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Invasive Species Cost $137 Billion Dollars in 2019

Invasive Species Cost $137 Billion Dollars in 2019

“Invasive species are a global issue, but they impact local communities causing damage to their economy and environment daily.

Dr. Mark Renz | Professor & Extension Specialist | University of Wisconsin at Madison

Invasive species include non-native insects, animals, invertebrates, aquatic organisms, diseases, and plants. Their hallmark is the ability to outcompete the native species within their new environment.

Although most people may not be aware of the expense of invasive species, they do cause a considerable expense to our country. In 2019 alone, the cost projections were roughly $137 billion.

February 24th – 28th is National Invasive Species Week (NISAW)

Every year, the efforts this week focus on awareness of the persistent battle against invasive species’ damages. Word is getting out there:

  • Consumers are getting more savvy about the impact of invasive species.
  • Most insurance companies look for beneficial programs that help reduce liability costs.

Verified Purchases Help You Stop the Spread of Invasive Species

Plant Sentry™ is an affordable and scalable software solutions to protect wholesale, retail and e-commerce sales. It helps you do everything you can to stop the spread of invasive species.

This efficient software is a big part of the solution moving forward. As you know, it takes time to build and maintain relationships with all the regulators at State and Federal levels.

We help you manage all the compliance requirements. This includes both growing and shipping regulated plant materials for each State of origin and each destination State.

Our team stays active in the game. This way we stay ahead of new regulated plant, pest, and disease concerns.

In addition, we serve on councils, committees, and a board regarding the issue of invasive species. We speak to national audiences at industry conferences and universities to promote our effort.

Our work is continuous, not only one week out of the year.

Get Compliance Support with Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry ™ is a consolidated national compliance database of all State and Federal regulations governing plant diseases, regulated pests, invasive plants and quarantine areas. It is continuously updated.

This mobile-ready tool makes it easy to comply with rapidly changing growing, inspection and audit requirements for all Federal regulations and restrictions of all 50 States.

National Invasive Species Week puts a spotlight on invasive species solutions. It’s time for efficient tools like Plant Sentry™ to stop these pests.

Get a free quote for your customized Plant Sentry™ solution.

(866) 335-0956

[email protected]

plantsentry.com/quote

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Unseen Costs of Prohibited Plant Shipments

Unseen Costs of Prohibited Plant Shipments

There are many consequences of shipping pests, diseases, and invasive plants that affect our communities. Poor plant shipments result in expenses of billions of dollars per year nationwide.

At the state level, bad plant shipments tie up critical state resources. Already stretched to capacity, officials must work to mitigate invasive pests, invasive plants or plant diseases.

Each state is handicapped by plants that escape cultivation and harm the environment. For example, Wisconsin battles buckthorn, Japanese barberry, Phragmites, and more.

These battles cost landowners and hard-working taxpayers millions of dollars.

Bad plant shipments can be accidental. Or, they can be intentional, when someone evades regulations.

Putting Years of Development in Jeopardy

Strong efforts are being funded by the green industry to develop new plants that are resistant to pests or disease. Breeders are also scrambling to develop non-invasive plants to battle the issue.

These breeding programs develop new plants that help growers and retailers make sales in areas that have prohibited the unimproved genera of plants. They must be approved by state officials.

Developing new trees and shrubs can take decades to develop, with funding and physical labor needed in significant amounts. All this effort can be for naught, if the new plant can’t be shipped into the states most hurt by the unimproved genera.

Bad Plant Shipments Hurt Working Relationships With State Regulators

The green industry must cooperate with regulations for invasive plants, pests and diseases. If they don’t, states are less likely to be cooperative in making exceptions for new non-invasive, low fertility plant cultivars developed by breeders.

For instance, a breeder may spend eight to twelve years developing a triploid burning bush (Euonymus alatus) that produces very few viable seeds per mature plant.

Regulators exposed to a non-cooperative industry may be less inclined to allow an exception for the triploid cultivar.

The case is often made by regulators that it is simpler and more efficient to restrict an entire species without exceptions.

“Our industry needs to work with the regulators of plant material and its pests to protect our business interests as well as the natural areas,” said Mike Yanny, President of JN Plant Selections. “We need to help the regulators do their job successfully to accomplish our common goals, with the least amount of pain to the industry.”

Affordable Plant Sentry™ Stops Bad Plant Shipments

The team behind Plant Sentry™ acknowledges the problem of selling and shipping the wrong plants to areas affected by pests, diseases, or invasive species, and they know it must be stopped.

We also understand that there are laws in place, but the information can be hard to track down and interpret.

 “Working with Plant Sentry™ can be an excellent way to make shipping easier,” said Yanny. “Using their expertise allows businesses to know they are being responsible for protecting areas from invasive pests and plants. At the same time, they can ship in an efficient and productive manner.”

  • Plant Sentry™ tracks down and interprets regulatory information for growers, retailers, and more using a maintained national database that verifies plant shipments.
  • It creates a single language for correct botanic nomenclature, eliminating any possible confusion in shipment.
  • Plant Sentry gives retailers a strong marketing tool. Displaying the Plant Sentry™ verification seal assures consumers that their plant purchases have added value.
  • Plant Sentry™ uses an emergency response in any accidental shipments, which works to prevent any loss of control.

In total, Plant Sentry™ is not only an effective solution to mitigate bad plant shipments, it’s a sustainable way to move a growing operation forward. By proofing each plant purchase for consumers, it will inevitably help growers and retailers move more plants the right way.

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‘Tis The Season for Watchfulness

‘Tis The Season for Watchfulness

If you are a grower, you know that plant production takes up not only your time, but also your focus on the workforce you are developing. Compliance often becomes one of those items placed on your back burner, especially in the heat of the season when productivity can be high.

It is important that we keep compliance a priority. Luckily, it does not matter the season—Plant Sentry™ is here year-round to help verify plant issues for you.

Keep Your Eyes On The Ball

Last holiday, Boxwood wreaths and Christmas trees were shipped with pests and diseases which compromised our landscapes and environment.  You’ll protect your company’s brand reputation by catching these issues before they spread.

Remaining in compliance should remain high on your seasonal check-list. 

Elongate Hemlock Scale Problem On The Rise

The Elongate Hemlock Scale is known by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reproduce on 43 different species, 14 of which are native to the United States. While Spruce and Fir tending to be more susceptible than the Hemlock. In 2000, the state of North Carolina indicated that their Elongate Hemlock Scale had increased by .3%.

By 2013, 53% of their Christmas tree producers had been infected with the pest. Most trees that become infected, do not survive past 10 years.

Reflecting On Performance At Year’s End

There is always a right time to do things, and no better time of the year than December. As the holidays approach, we ask ourselves —Have we done our best this past year? These questions aren’t simply related to the season, they also fall into the plant arena.

Did we perform due diligence when identifying  and maintaining compliance and treatments? Did we stay within compliance agreements? Had we kept good records of it all? When there was a pest, disease, or invasive plant issue, was it dealt with optimally?

These questions remind us of all the details which need to be managed correctly. Plant Sentry™ exists to verify even the smallest of such details.

Move Forward With Purpose And Get Help

Now is the time to reflect upon the past year and learn from it; while preparing for the future.  Here at Plant Sentry™, we also use this time to reflect, as well as look forward. We also strive to be a company that continually moves towards the highest standards. 

Plant Sentry™ is the leader when it comes to verifying plants, and it is backed by AmericanHort, the largest green industry organization. Do not be fooled by any other false advertisements of plant verification. 

Start the New Year Off Right

This season, take a step to feel great about safe shipments of beautiful plants and plant materials. When you verify with Plant Sentry™, your customers know it has adhered to the highest standards around!

Get your questions answered. Contact us today and see how your team can leverage affordable real-time business intelligence, no matter if you are a wholesalers, retailer or e-commerce vendor.

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Protecting Plants and Giving Thanks

Protecting Plants and Giving Thanks

In celebrating the month of Thanksgiving, we see homecomings for many families across the nation. We treasure the joy and togetherness, talking about great times and eating favorite foods like cranberries, corn, pumpkin pie, and the famous turkey.

You might be surprised to hear that many food items showing up on your kitchen table could be severely affected by certain pests, diseases, and invasive weeds.

Green Industry is Concerned About the Movement of Pests, Diseases, and Invasive Species

The recent eradication of Plum Pox, a lethal virus of the genus Prunus-including apricots, almonds, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums-is a significant example. Putting up a twenty year fight, the disease resulted in enormous eradication costs for the United States.

Plum Pox would have severely impacted the $6.3 billion dollar stone fruit industry if not contained and eliminated. Though we applaud the efforts it took to ensure this pest was put to rest, the Plum Pox situation stresses the need for compliance, both interstate and abroad.

Consumers and Compliance Can Stop the Spread

With countless other pests and diseases-not to mention invasive plants-costing billions of dollars, it is critical that industry put a stop to the spread. Fortunately, there are two proven methods for doing just that.

First, as a team, industry must work to teach consumers the appropriate way to purchase plants. Second, industry must verify that the right plants get shipped to the right places. It seems quite simple, and yet, persistent issues continue to escalate all over the country and beyond.

Use a Systems Approach to Validate the Proper Shipment of Plants

Plant Sentry™ is a software solution that frees up critical staff time by using a systems approach to validate proper shipment of plants.

The green industry is unquestionably responsible for regulation, and it should take charge in thwarting all activities that ignore these fundamental policies. The largest green industry organization, AmericanHort, is supporting Plant Sentry™ efforts to promote a healthy, quality environment for our land, communities, or neighboring businesses (i.e. orchards, agronomic crops).

The standards of this approach furthermore align with and enhance other certification programs. AmericanHort, as well as other green industry groups, knows the value of consumer satisfaction. The Plant Sentry™ seal of verification maintains consumer confidence in our products, pushing both products and the nation forward.

Utilizing this tool helps on two additional fronts. It funds key research and programs through AmericanHort and it puts products where they should be.

Ship Nursery Stock with the Plant Sentry™ Verification Seal

Allow plants to be grown where they should be grown, without negatively impacting the environment or affecting that holiday meal.

The fight is far from over, but this Thanksgiving, each and every individual has the chance to make a real difference. Help lead the fight to plant what is right

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Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

Invasive Species Cost Hidden Dollars and Headaches

Invasive species, whether they are plants, pests, or diseases wreak major havoc throughout the United States. Bill Jones of Carolina Native Plant Nursery recently published an informative article in Nursery Management Magazine regarding the amount of money spent trying to eradicate these species from each state. 

Costs to Fight Invasive Species Are Staggering

States are spending an estimated $50,000,000,000 to $120,000,000,000 to fight invasive plant species, pests and diseases. With costs as shocking as these, you may be wondering who really pays for it all—and you’ve most likely guessed it. The U.S. taxpayer is paying these astronomical costs. 

In Jones’s article, he questions who is liable for these problems in the first place. One can point the finger in many different directions, but most often the Green Industry is to blame. 

To date, the Green Industry has not hit the liability front for these expensive, vast cleanups. However, as grant funding starts to fall short and less money becomes available, someone is sure to pay. 

We’d all love to believe that controlling invasive species is easy when money is accessible, but it truly isn’t. Anyone having to deal with the eradication of a plant, pest, or disease understands the painful headache accompanying it. 

Small teams of volunteers and grant-funded staff battle invasive plants, pests, and diseases year-round. Some of these species may be too far gone to ever get under control. 

Further, the invasive front often involves organisms that drift into the United States from outside of the country. In order to prevent new plant problems on top of this, there are many educational tools, including Plant Risk Evaluator Tool™ (PRE) from Plant Right® that can be utilized. 

This may be one more thing that lawmakers can use when deciding whether or not to ban a plant. Most states already have invasive species laws and established processes for assessing plants, but any additional strategy has merit.

Regulate to Slow Pests and Diseases

As far as pests and diseases are concerned, such organisms must be regulated to slow the spread. In some cases, regulation offers the opportunity for eliminating them altogether. Several successful programs are currently in use to control the Asian Longhorned Beetle and eradicate the Plum Pox Virus from New York. Though costly, these programs do work, and the end result is extremely rewarding. 

However, it is important to understand that the threat of the spread of pests, diseases, and other invasive species can happen rapidly, especially today. With trade, eCommerce, garden clubs, benefit auctions, countless avenues of transportation, and more, regulation is more critical than ever before. 

Plant Sentry™ Was Developed To Fight Invasive Plants, Pests and Diseases

Plant Sentry™ was developed to help ease the navigation of verifying plant shipments. This can be done any time during the process up until ship point. With proven auditable results, this tool can help stop the spread of pests, diseases, and invasive species. 

Even more, in the case of an emergency, Plant Sentry™ helps mobilize individuals quickly to extinguish the fire. 

Minimizing future liability by buying a product today isn’t only smart—it’s vital. Plant Sentry™ is indubitably a valuable option; it is efficient and direct when used to a grower’s advantage. 

Winning battles against invasive species requires vigilance, and Plant Sentry™ employs this to its core. 

In today’s world, we must all do our part. And so, we urge you to take action. 

Employ these proven tactics. Commit to a healthier, headache-free environment. And better yet, do it today, because tomorrow may be too late. Contact us to start the conversation. Our team is here to help get your questions answered.

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Efforts to Combat Asian Longhorn Beetle

Efforts to Combat Asian Longhorn Beetle

The Asian Longhorn Beetle is an invasive species insect that has been in the United States since mid-late 1990. This pest causes irreparable harm to many tree species, including our beloved maples and oaks.

The beetle is known to attack and kill older trees that tend to stress more.  The beetle was first discovered on the East Coast and, up to this day, has been contained to three quarantined states. The states, along with the USDA-APHIS, have conducted a massive eradication effort. Official regulation has been in effect since March 7, 1997.

Eradication efforts for invasive species are not uncommon. Our friends at the USDA-APHIS have been running field operations and programs such as with the Asian Longhorn Beetle in order to protect America’s landscapes, commodities, forests, and environment.

Costs of Invasive Insects Are High

Invasive insects can cause serious, lasting harm to our ecosystems, and it typically does not end with just one dead tree. These pests also cost taxpayers billions of dollars to combat each year, which is a double whammy for those that also lose something precious in their landscape.

 For these reasons, it is important that we be vigilant for insects like these, enabling us to help in the eradication effort once a program is underway. Everyone’s combined effort and communication allows for better trapping and management of such pests.

Eradication Efforts Are Cooperative

The Asian Longhorn Beetle program in particular has had incredible success because of the actions and cooperation from states, municipalities, and homeowners alike. These contributions are helping to eliminate this pest, and hopefully complete elimination will happen in the very near future.

If you have trees that are listed on the host sight, and you live in a quarantine area of Massachusetts, New York, or Ohio, you should always be on the look-out for this pest. Additionally, adjacent counties of affected areas should serve as buffer zones, and other communities should be observant to help in this effort. 

Compliant Nursery Stock is Key to Success

It is even more important to be cognizant of these invasive species when purchasing and shipping nursery stock. Anyone purchasing plants online or from outlets from the listed states should look for regulatory agreements or the federal stamp, both prior to ordering and when the product arrives.

Nursery products being shipped out of quarantine areas must be accompanied with a compliance agreement. This specifies that the plants have been managed in a way that prevents the invasive insect from moving out of the area. These agreements serve a purpose: leading the world to eradicate a harmful pest such as the Asian Longhorn Beetle.

More information on the Asian Longhorn Beetle can be found on the USDA-APHIS website, which also provides plant host lists, affected quarantine counties in each state, and progress maps. In the end, however, a company that verifies that your shipment is safe and abides by state and federal regulations should be your number one defense when purchasing a plant. 

Our team at Plant Sentry™ applauds the efforts of our state and federal regulatory officials to help manage and eradicate serious pests, diseases, and invasive species. We are another part of the team that not only prioritizes communicating issues to you but works to solve those that wreak havoc on our landscapes, commodities, and environment.

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Buyer Beware… Sudden Oak Continues to Spread

Buyer Beware… Sudden Oak Continues to Spread

Sudden Oak Death continues to rear its ugly head across the United States. This disease, which affects around 100 host plants, is devastating to both nurseries as well as landscape plants.

In the latest report, confirmed in Ohio, regulatory officials projected that there could be as many as 1,600 infected plants that were distributed to box stores in the state.

18 States Received Infected Host Plants

So far, the USDA/Aphis has estimated that plants that originated from the Pacific Northwest have been distributed to eighteen states. Not all states have reported infection, but many are expending resources to keep a vigilant eye out for infected plants. 

The state of Minnesota just recently issued an advisory, explaining that Phytophthora ramorum is responsible for killing thirty to forty-five million oak trees in coastal forests. Although it has not yet discovered infection, the state is asking consumers that have purchased Rhododendrons to inspect their plants vigilantly for this disease.

A clear symptom is large brown blotches on leaves and stems, causing them to shrivel and turn brownish-black. MDA plant pathologist Michelle Grabowski says this disease could still significantly impact Minnesota’s vast oak forests if escaped from an infected Rhododendron. 

In Ohio’s case, Walmart and Rural King stores have volunteered a recall to retrieve sold plants to minimize any potential spread or impact. They are asking participants to watch for symptoms and dispose of Lilac and Rhododendron plants purchased between March and May this spring

Plants can be disposed of via burning or double bagging and disposing in a landfill. Additionally, nurseries in quarantined states are supposed to abide by 34 Best Management Practices to prevent the spread of this disease, otherwise problems may arise.

It’s Time For A Systems Approach To Avoid Ecological Trauma

A high sense of vigilance is required when shipping any plant out of a quarantined area for pests or diseases. It is terrible that this disease made its way through the growing and shipping chain without being noticed. 

It is apparent that steps were missed. This mess is now affecting almost half of the United States. Evidently, knowing what to look for in the event of a breach could have prevented the sale of infected plants this spring.

Now, there is a strong need for growers to embrace the Systems Approach for Nursery Certification. 

How Does Plant Sentry™ Work?

The Systems Approach for Nursery Certification focuses on the best growing practices from start to final shipment, including treatment protocols.

Plant Sentry™ is a tested compliance tool that blocks the shipment of plant materials in and out of quarantined or restricted areas. 

Plant Sentry™ verifies that growers are compliant with current regulations, and it is highly vigilant of treatment protocols. 

The compliance tool works for both shippers and purchasers of plant material. 

The one-two punch of these systems approaches is proven to give both consumers and growers utmost confidence that healthy plants are being shipped. 

Plant Sentry™ works with growers day in and out to win the battle against awful pests, disease, and invasive species.  

Now is the time. Contact us today to learn more about getting started.

References:

Ohio Department of Agriculture

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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First National Invasive Plant Database

First National Invasive Plant Database

Plant Sentry™ Helps Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants

With a threatening accumulation of regional plant problems, groups fighting invasive plant species are increasing across the US. As states spend millions of dollars battling such plants, these groups are attempting to protect the healthy environment. The efforts underway work to suppress the spread of unwanted plants that destroy both landscapes and habitat.

A new group of enthusiastic residents from Hamilton County, Indiana has formed to help control invasives. Specifically those that the Indiana Native Plant and Wildlife Society speculates cost the state more than 5.7 million dollars annually.

Phil Flannagan, a group spokesperson, says, “Invasive species can cause a domino effect that harms ecosystems. Some of the berries invasive plants produce, birds eat them, but it’s like a sugar high. There’s no real nutrition there.”

Flannagan is referring to the laxative effect, which causes wildlife to lose energy, making them more susceptible to poor health and even survival. The laxative effect has been proven to spread the invasive plant problem at a more exponential rate, as well.

According to Flannagan, “I think most people, if they knew what was going on, they would not plant something like that.”

So now we raise the question: how do you know what to plant – or even more importantly – what plant could pose a problem in your area? To answer this question, we must navigate plant shipment regulation.

This can be difficult for both consumers and growers, as plant shipment regulation is so complex. To find out whether a plant can or cannot be shipped to a certain state, loads of information is compiled.

To make things even more challenging, such information must be sorted, maintained, and kept up-to-date. So how we do answer our critical questions efficiently?

Luckily, a solution for the struggle is here. Through Plant Sentry™, the first national database is newly available, and it can be used by growers to help promote shipping the right plant to the right place. Plant Sentry™ utilizes every available tool to stay ahead of regulation, saving growers time and money. This allows them to concentrate on new plant varieties that do not cause problems.

Not only will this solution help nation-wide, but it will assist small groups such as the one in Indiana, allowing them to get a foothold on what invasive plants are present. It will also prevent the wrong plants from being shipped to their state.

Additionally, education and the evaluation of potentially problematic plants will further the goal of protecting the environment and landscape from invasive species. Pre™ Tool , developed by Plant Right® with the help of researches at the University of California-Davis and the University of Washington will also help feed the proactive effort to prevent new regional invasive plant species.

Fortunately, our team at Plant Sentry™ is watching changes in plants that might occur with the assistance of great programs like Pre™ Tool so you do not have to.

Though not widely known, every state battles some type of invasive plant problem. Even more, every state has groups that exhaust efforts to clean up invasive plant problems.

With great optimism, we can say that the upward trend of efforts to eliminate invasive species will only increase over time. If you are a landowner, you may or may not have experienced an invasive plant issue; however, those that have should be excited to know that the proactive movement to stop the spread is growing.

We encourage everyone to support this movement in any way. Together, and with great determination, we can eliminate invasive plant species from our quality landscapes and environment.

References

Plant Right®

University of Washington

University of California-Davis

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