Islanders warned about plant disease threat

Islanders are being urged to take care when ordering plants online to stop the spread of plant disease.

Jersey's Environment Department and Guernsey's Commerce and Employment Department want islanders to ensure they use reputable suppliers.

Both islands are currently free from Fireblight, a disease that kills apple trees and hawthorn hedgerows.

However, there is concern people buying trees and shrubs by mail order could be sent infected plants.

A spokesman said both Jersey and Guernsey are EU protected zones and plants must only be imported from officially approved nurseries.

Fireblight causes scorched leaves and can kill or wilt young shoots.

The spokesman said slime on infected plants containing the bacteria can be spread by insects and birds.

Both States departments are advising people to check with approved suppliers that the plants are safe to send to the islands.

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