USDA: Advance Notification For Phytophthora Ramorum Host Nursery Stock Moving Interstate

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a Federal Order, effective March 1, 2011, that is intended to prevent the spread of the harmful plant diseases that Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum) causes, including sudden oak death, ramorum blight and ramorum dieback, and to enhance the traceability of potentially infected nursery stock.

Under the Federal Order, nurseries located in quarantined and certain regulated counties in California, Oregon and Washington that ship interstate to nonregulated areas any species of Camellia, Kalmia, Pieris, Rhododendron (including Azalea) and Viburnum must provide advance notification to the receiving state. This notification must be sent at the time of shipment by either mail, facsimile or e-mail. Currently, when host plants are found to be infected with this fungus at the shipping nursery, considerable time is spent gathering information on that nursery’s previous shipments, which also may have been infected. This process significantly delays the ability of state and federal officials to rapidly trace potentially infected plant material.

This Federal Order supersedes the May 27, 2010, Federal Order regarding P. ramorum that had been scheduled for implementation on June 21, 2010. APHIS had extended the implementation of the original Federal Order twice to provide the nursery industry additional time to comply with the requirements and to clarify several issues raised by the industry in the regulated states of California, Oregon and Washington. In addition, APHIS has established the necessary measures to support implementation of the superseding Federal Order, including the development of a supplemental guidance document for nurseries and states in a question-and-answer format. APHIS consulted closely with the National Plant Board, a nonprofit organization of state plant pest regulatory agencies, in drafting the order and guidance document.

The Federal Order, which lists the specific counties, and guidance document are available on APHIS’ website at
For more information on P. ramorum, please visit

Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at and click on the RSS feed link.

Source: USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service