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Plant Pest Quarantines
MDARD safeguards Michigan agriculture and natural resources against the introduction, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally significant pests (insects and diseases) and facilitates the safe trade of agricultural plant products. One tool used to accomplish this is plant pest quarantines. Plant pest quarantines are legal documents issued by MDARD limiting the movement of specific plant material within, into or out of the state of Michigan.
Interior plant pest quarantines restrict the movement of specific plant material within the state of Michigan. Exterior plant pest quarantines restrict the movement of specific plant material into the state of Michigan from other states where a plant pest is known to exist.
Currant and Gooseberry Plants
Currants and gooseberry plants are low maintenance bushes that produce flavorful berries. In other parts of the world, these small, flavorful fruits produce jams, jellies, ice cream and even a liqueur known as cassis. In the U.S., currants and gooseberries are regulated because many varieties are host plants to white pine blister rust (WPBR), a disease that attacks and kills white pine. Currants and gooseberries serve as alternate hosts for WPBR and can spread the disease to nearby whine pines. Many states, including Michigan, enacted laws in the 1920's to protect white pine resources. The White Pine Blister Rust Act of 1929 generally restricts the planting of currants and gooseberries.
In the last 100 years new varieties of currants and gooseberry plants have been developed which are resistant to WPBR. Therefore, MDARD offers free permits for planting approved resistant varieties. People interested in obtaining information on approved varieties or a permit to plant WPBR-resistant currants and gooseberries should contact MDARD at MDARD-NurseryCE@Michigan.gov.