[NAFEX] Re: chestnuts

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Sun Jun 20 11:03:08 EDT 2004

On Jun 19, 2004, at 12:28 PM, Heron Breen wrote:

> Ginda and others, I think the most important lesson from the Chestnut 
> is one of
> our perspective. That perspective is one of Nature not knowing enough, 
> not being
> perfect, and at the same time our economy pushing her threshholds 
> beyond any
> realistic expectation.

Another lesson is to beware of importing plants from areas that have 
different pathogens.  When I started planting my garden, I bought some 
plants from the west coast.  Over time I bought fewer, as i noticed 
that the trip was difficult, and I needed to plant west-coast plants 
out-of-synch with the best weather for planting here in the east.  
Since learning about Sudden Oak Death, I have stopped buying stuff from 
west of the rockies - despite some trouble finding the blueberry 
cultivars I wanted to try.  SOD can be carried on all sorts of stuff, 
specifically including blueberry.  I only learned of this because a 
west-coast vendor indicated it couldn't ship blueberry to one of the 
east-coast states, and I decided to look up why not.  A single state 
has imposed a quarantine on plants from SOD-infected states.  Too 
little, too late, since nursery giant Monrovia accidentally shipped 
infected material to most of the east coast a year prior to the 

SOD also infects rhododendron,  camellia, maple, chestnut, beech, horse 
chestnut, Douglas Fir, viburnim, lilac, and lots of other stuff.  And 
no one really knows what else.  (It doesn't kill many of these - mostly 
it's a minor but annoying leaf/stem blight, but those sick leaves can 
kill oaks.)

( http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/comtf/html/about_sudden_oak_death.html  
has a fairly current list)

And who knows what other pathogens are lurking out there, harmless in 
their native habitat, with adapted hosts, but ready to kill when they 
are transported to relatives of their native hosts.


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