Xylella fastidiosa – Update February 2018

I am sure you are aware that a very nasty plant disease is spreading through Southern Europe. Xylella fastidiosa is a bacteria spread by a leafhopper and has already caused catastrophic damage in Southern Italy (mainly in Olive groves) with further outbreaks in many other regions. The bacteria can host on many species and the list is growing. The UK are in a good position as it seems the disease is contained in warmer climates so it is unlikely to over-winter here.

The government regulations stress that plant nurseries must be able to trace plant material to their source by way of a plant passport, so our documentation will show our passport along with any ‘host’ plant on the delivery. We work closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) so are inspected regularly and informed of any changes.

We must stress that there is no cause for panic just wise to be vigilant with any plants you buy in. From Norfolk Herb’s perspective, we are very lucky in that all plant material sourced (*see list of exceptions below) are matured on our nursery from cuttings and rooted cuttings sourced from non-effected regions and the nurseries within them. Other plants are grown from our own stocks that have been on our nursery for over a year.

*Exceptions are:

  1. Bay Trees (Laurus nobilis) which are bought in from Northern Europe, traceable through a passport and come from a clean nursery within a clean region.
    2. During times of peak demand, we ask other nurseries to occasionally contract grow plants for us. However, the statement made above is also true for them so we can be assured of clean plants.

This statement will also be available on our website where it can be updated if required. If you do require more information, please do not hesitate to ask one of us or take a look at the following websites:

https://hta.org.uk/assurance-compliance/plant-and-disease-alert-xylella-fastidiosa.html  and https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/pests-and-diseases/high-profile-pests-and-diseases/xylella/

Thank you and best wishes for 2018

Brian Rosie and Oliver Clifton-Sprigg

Norfolk Herbs