Import of plants for planting
Sun, 26 Jul 2009 12:56:37 PDT
Given I am not a member of PBS it may be presumptuous of anyone like me to comment on this topic in particular. However, forgive me please while I trespass.

I am surprised to learn that there is an active advocacy for the presumably large scale, with or with out restriction, on the importation of plant material to the USA given that in many parts of the world the movement is in the other direction to varying degrees and at varying speeds of implementation. Both the UK and the USA, amongst many hundreds of countries are signatories to the Convention[s] on plant trades, one factor of which requires that any commercial benefit derived must be shared with the country of origin. Aside from that, the real and sometimes horrendous consequences of people circumventing importation rules and the effects of alien 'beasties' arriving piggy back, whether as viruses, insects or just plant noxious weeds whose seeds are lodged unnoticed amongst the material legitimately arrived under a valid, as distinct from the many dodgy, Phyto certificates is leading and has lead to enormous economic never mind ecological problems around the world.

Here in Scotland, as a member country within the European Union { EU } we have the dubious advantage of the freedom of trade, it did after all start of as the EEC i.e. the European Economic Community whose purpose was the free movement of goods without tariffs. In those days 'goods' usually meant metals, agricultural produce, clothing, etc, etc. What was not appreciated was with much of these things came disease and pests whose new hosts have collapsed in soem cases under their assault. Measures were introduced, 'stable doors and horses anyone' to restrict problems, however some countries around the Mediterranean regarded and still do, rules as being things do dodge around while those in the north applied them vigorously but could not prevent materials, with their pests arriving from the south, to do so would be a restriction of the free trade treaties.

For the lily bulb and related genera aficionados amongst you we have a mounting problem now with Lily Beetle to such an extent that while in Scotland we remain free of it, more or less, except for the passing Dutch delivery curtainsider truck dropping off a few, we now have the Dutch knocking on our doors anxious to set up bulb farms here to take advantage of our phyto free situation. Does this ring any bells for those in Oregon? Apart from the above insect, the ground water contamination with nitrates in Holland is exacerbated by their over use of chemicals to control diseases, virus, insects, and anything else it seems, does this also ring any bells for those e.g. in Oregon? If not Google 'Oregon Bulb Farms'.  My researches for the new Lily monograph have thrown up soem frightening information, derived in part from the internet searches but also from very distressed Americans living with the legacy[ies] left behind and your government's massive expenditure to clean the place up. Now i hear you also have Lily Beetle on the Pacific west coast which can only have happened through the smuggling of bulbs from Europe via the Atlantic coast states. for those not yet troubled by Lily Beetle, you inevitably will be, the Californian climate is perfect as too is that of BC and Oregon. Many Lily growers in England have been forced to give up, both hobbyists and commercial growers, like the Dutch they find the situation intolerable.

Suggestions, well just stick to growing from seed, yes it takes longer but it is responsible and safe. It also avoids the decimation of west coast American native lilies in nature although it does seem unavoidable, eventually. The tragic loss of Californian Oaks due to Sudden Oak Death disease, a Phytophora sps. is due entirely to the importation of contaminated plants air freighted into the USA by probably a single wholesaler importing infected material from Chinese nurseries. This infective agent affects several other genera including such as Rhododendron, Fagus, Quercus, some Picea, Viburnum and on and on.

Dismal and worrying, I hope that the Americans can learn from our mistakes, you have made a few of your own already but nothing compared so far to the situation here where internationally renown collections of e.g. Rhododendron, many species of which are endangered in nature and now in cultivation where they should have been safe. Those genera which do not per se suffer from attack do in some instances act of vectors for infection, e.g. during periods of high humidity along our western seaboard and transmission is to some extent by aerosol on the prevailing south-westerly winds. Be careful what 'deals' you negotiate over importation, many Phyto certificates are just so much toilet paper, totally worthless in respect of certain countries of which I am aware, and no I am not putting their names down in writing thank you very much.

Regards, Iain

I am using the free version of SPAMfighter.
We are a community of 6 million users fighting spam.
SPAMfighter has removed 102552 of my spam emails to date.
Get the free SPAMfighter here:

The Professional version does not have this message

More information about the pbs mailing list