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Plant diseases to be aware of in 2017


The Plant Risk Register has been updated for 2017- What Does this mean for uK gardens?


Responsible gardening means understanding invasive species and diseases- be sure to know the risks and regulations new for 2017. The Plant Risk Register was updated in January to cover the most recent concerns regarding plant and tree diseases.

In the latest updates to the register now includes some new risks, including

    Texas Phoenix Palm Decline – a phytoplasma disease killing palm trees in the USA

•    Acalolepta sejuncta – Asian longhorn beetle which attacks trees

•   Crisicoccus pini – Kuwana mealybug, a pest of pines recently introduced to Italy

•    Monilinia polystroma – Asiatic brown rot

•    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense: a fungal infection effecting bananas.

While some of these may sound slightly exotic for the majority of UK gardeners, there are a number of extant risks that have been reassessed in the 2017 update. These include Candidatus Phytoplasma mali, cause of Apple Proliferation Disease in apple trees, now subject to increased monitoring and regulations following reports of increased spread inside Europe. Another serious disease is Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri, a cause of Pear decline that could potentially be a serious risk to the country’s perry orchards, and viewed as low risk but carrying the highest impact if allowed to spread to orchards. The Iris Yellow Spot Virus, a danger to onion crops, is considered a likely danger farmers and gardeners will have to deal with in 2017.

The spread of disease is something all gardeners need to be familiar with- as if allowed to spread to farms or to other vulnerable areas, they can have serious repercussions. By identifying and removing plants that carry infectious diseases, we can ensure our gardens don’t contribute to the spread of invasive or dangerous plant species, diseases or pests. 


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