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USDA Fruit Tree Certification Lab

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The WSDA Fruit Tree Registration and Certification Program has a long history of service to the fruit tree nursery industry of Washington State, beginning in the 1950’s. The need for healthy, disease free planting stock has long been recognized as the cornerstone of Washington’s $1 Billion apple, pear and cherry fruit production system. In collaboration with WSU and the federally funded Clean Plant Center Northwest at Prosser, WSDA virologists map, monitor, test and index over 90,000 registered mother trees held at nurseries around the State. These virus tested trees serve as the budwood source for millions of certified grafted fruit trees planted in orchards each year. WSDA certified trees give Washington growers access to foreign markets for nursery stock, which must meet rigorous international requirements for pest freedom.

This pre design study is the first concrete step in the building process which the WSDA hopes to complete in the next 2-3 years. Programming includes adequate space to house five full time permanent staff, five seasonal field staff, a molecular diagnostics lab, and a full service nematode diagnostics lab. Additionally, there will be meeting space for stakeholders, storage, and safe separation for chemical handling and sample preparation. This space will highlight the history of fruit tree certification and nursery partners through photographic displays. Ultimately, it will increase the synergy and long collaboration enjoyed with WSU researchers and the National Clean Plant Network clean plant center.

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