Theoretical Question (so far) re: Responsibility for reporting suspected SOD

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by wynn, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    I am seeking opinions and real-life experience (if you have had to deal with this), both as professionals and home gardeners. I have, gratefully, not yet had this issue arise, but I am quite certain that it will at some point with the apparent difficulties of containing this virus. Ethically and professional speaking, whose responsibility is it to report suspicious symptoms that might indicate SOD in a client's garden. I feel, on the one hand, it would be the professional gardener with the larger picture in mind, however, to do so would inflict not only anxiety and disruption on the part of the client (perhaps unnecessarily), but could also lead to major loss of plants in the garden with associated costs and distress, along with possible impacts on neighbours, quarantine conditions, treatments and intrusive followups. The potential impact on the home owner could be severe. Issues such as spread from garden to other sites through car traffic, footwear, pruning tools, leaf/bark disposal to composting stations? The mind boggles. Should the ultimate decision to report be the gardening professional or the client's? In the future, this virus may continue to be reportable or may eventually become so widespread that control is futile and we hope our susceptible plants develop some level of immunity. No one really knows, but in the meantime, how do we deal with this when/if it comes up?
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    BCLNA has produced a document for some basic guidelines: http://www.bclna.com/pramorum_bmps_landscapers.pdf

    as for responsibility to report, thats a legal issue that has to be hashed out in court but, as a tree professional, if I walk a property with someone and see a major hazard and dont tell the client, I am pretty certain I can be held accountable for not bringing it to their attention, I would think the same holds true for P ramorum. If you see what you think is signs of the disease you would be best suited to call CFIA, its their mandate to deal with it. If you installed the plants or pruned the plants and followed the BMP's in the attached link then you may be free from blame by performing your due diligence, if you didnt follow the BMP's then you may be held somewhat accountable. You could contact the BCLNA and ask them for any cases that have gone through the court system, I havent heard any information about one to date.

    as a professional landscape company I have company policies in place, if you are interested please have a look at my website page: http://www.progresslandscaping.com/standards_and_practices.htm

    ps, the changing of gloves has made me drop a pile of money at the local glove supplier, some days myself and a worker will go through 4 to 6 pairs each. We also rinse off our boots and raingear of debris between sites.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    for the devils advocate side of this issue there are a few other opinions about P ramorum.

    See the attachments for further reading.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    It's a bit of a moot point if you report it or not, the client is still going to experience anxiety, disruption, and significant plant loss if the fungus is indeed present. If it is not reported though, the potential to impact the entire community exists as well as surrounding natural areas.

    As your client's professional gardener, there is a good chance that the orginator in the garden may be you or your company, either through planting infected plant matter or cross contamination. You may loose one client by reporting them but at least you won't lose them all (because of widespread infection) and your name won't be the one at the centre of the debacle.

    Also, as jimmyq says, you're the professional here and this is your expertise. It's akin to a physician allowing the patient inform the Health Unit himself regarding his newly diagnosed reportable communicable disease.

    Simon
     
  5. wynn

    wynn Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank for your feedback and information sources - both are appreciated. I hope I never have the need to to make this reporting choice on behalf of a client but, if so, I have at least thought about it and have a sense of other professionals' opinions. I would definitely want to have a potential outbreak investigated, however, if a client ever disagreed, it would not be easy step to undertake. Keeping fingers crossed.
     
  6. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Testing for p. ramorum is by taking leaf samples. No plants need be destroyed without testing. I would encourage any suspect plants be immediately tested.
     

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