Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is establishing a plum pox virus (PPV) quarantine in portions of Orange and Ulster Counties in New York. All PPV host plants, with the exception of fruit without leaves or stems, may not leave the quarantine area.
In September 2015, a single PPV-D infected plum tree located in a commercial orchard of mixed fruit trees was detected by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) during a Farm Bill-funded survey of commercial stone fruit orchards in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Worldwide there are nine known strains of PPV. All known occurrences of PPV in the United States have been identified as strain D, which is not transmitted by seed, is less efficiently spread by aphids, and is the slower-spreading form of plum pox virus.
Following the positive identification of PPV by APHIS and the D strain of PPV by USDA Agricultural Research Service in September 2015, APHIS and NYSDAM began PPV surveys in the Hudson Valley, Niagara, and Adirondack regions of New York. To date, no additional trees have tested positive for PPV. The area where the positive tree was located was last surveyed for PPV in 2009 and there were no positive detections at that time.
The positive plum tree was identified by the grower as Prunus Obil'naja, a hybrid of Prunus salicina (Chinese plum or Japanese plum) and Prunus cerasifera (cherry plum or myrobalan plum).
On April 21, 2016, New York established an intrastate quarantine area for PPV that mirrors the federal regulatory requirements as specified in 7 CFR 301.74. A Federal Order adds portions of Ulster and Orange Counties in New York to the PPV quarantined area in the United States. The positive tree was detected in Ulster County; however, the one mile quarantine area surrounding the tree includes portions of Orange County.
The positive tree was destroyed and host material surrounding the location of the positive tree was removed as a buffer. All PPV host plants are subject to the quarantine including orchard, landscape, and nursery plants with the following exception: fruit without leaves and stems. Trace forward and trace back investigations are ongoing to gather more information about any potential pathways.
PPV is the most devastating viral disease worldwide. PPV severely reduces fruit yield and quality of stone fruit species including plum, apricot, peach, almond, and ornamental varieties. PPV was first detected in New York in 2006 and, until the September 2015 detection, had been eradicated where it had been detected in the United States, including in Niagara, Orleans, and Wayne Counties in New York and in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Under IPPC Standards, Plum Pox Virus is considered to be a pest that is present in limited areas and under eradication in the United States.