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Annapolis Valley apple orchard quarantined after rare pest detected

Federal food safety officials have placed an apple orchard in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley under quarantine after the detection of a destructive pest for the first time in North America.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it has found an infestation of apple proliferation phytoplasma in an orchard near Kentville.

The agency, which did not identify the orchard, says the pest is found throughout Europe and is considered one of the most critical diseases of apple trees.

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The affected trees are of the Pacific Gala variety that were imported to Canada from the U.S. in 2008.

Officials say the source of the infestation is unknown and testing has begun at the U.S. nurseries where the trees originated.

The disease can result in reduced growth and smaller, less sweet fruit.

It spreads primarily through infected planting material, but can also be transmitted between plants by insects.

The agency says apple proliferation phytoplasma is a plant disease that does not pose a health threat to humans or animals.

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