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Annual Plum Pox Virus Survey

The Plum pox virus (PPV) Lab, under the direction of Marc Fuchs at Cornell University's NYSAES, works in conjunction with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to screen Prunus trees for the presence of Plum pox virus (PPV) in New York State. 

PPV is an invasive species.  This virus was not known to occur in New York prior to its discovery in 2006.  Its first occurrence in the U.S. was reported in 1999 in Pennsylvania. 

Following the discovery of PPV in New York, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture declared an extraordinary emergency to effectively carry out an eradication program in the State.

The statewide survey of Prunus trees for PPV is a critical component of an eradication program aimed at eliminating the virus in New York. The foremost control measure for PPV is exclusion; however, once the virus is present in a region it must be eliminated, and to accomplish this it needs to be detected, through a statewide survey of Prunus trees (including plum, peach, nectarine and apricot). Identifying infected trees and eliminating them in a timely manner will help prevent the spread of PPV in New York.

PPV was identified on two plum trees followed by a peach tree in July and August of 2006, respectively, in Niagara County.  In August and September of 2007, PPV was found in 20 peach trees from five orchards in Niagara and Orleans Counties.  These discoveries resulted in the destruction of 26 acres of plum and peach trees, an unfortunate but very necessary step in controlling further spread of the virus to neighboring orchards.

Timely eradication of infected trees is the only method of control for
Plum Pox Virus.