The Washington State Department of Agriculture recently adopted a quarantine for Eastern Filbert Blight. This new quarantine was established to control the fungal plant pathogen Anisogramma anomala that causes Eastern Filbert Blight (EFB). Eastern filbert blight was first discovered in Vancouver, WA in the late 1970s and from there spread to the Willamette valley where it wreaked havoc on Oregon’s Hazelnut orchards. The first releases of EFB resistant varieties from OSU’s Hazelnut breeding program have held the pathogen at bay in the Pacific Northwest for a decade or so since their release.  Growers in Washington are now concerned about the introduction of new, more virulent EFB strains from the different geographical areas where this pathogen occurs, rendering resistant Corylus cultivars ineffective.

For the ornamental industry, it should be noted that this quarantine affects all species of the genus Corylus, which includes the popular Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ (Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick).

Nursery stock shipped from Oregon to Washington must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has inspected the nursery stock during the last active growing season and found it free of eastern filbert blight. If you have questions regarding this new quarantine please contact your local Nursery Inspector or the ODA’s Nursery Program at 503-986-4644.