Nursery Inspection 2

Under the new Department, although nursery inspection work, plant disease inspection work, and bee inspection activities were continued as before, all plant inspection work, both for insects and plant diseases was combined in a Bureau of Statistics and Inspection headed by Franklin Dye. A new activity, a crop statistical service, was also included in the new bureau. The nursery inspection activities were placed under a chief inspector, Harry B. Weiss. The state entomologist and state plant pathologist were continued in advisory capacities until July 1, 1933, when both positions were abolished. Dye, who died on April 19, 1920, was succeeded by Weiss, who continued as chief of the Bureau of Statistics and Inspection until June, 1931, when the name was changed to the Bureau of Plant Industry. He remained as chief of this bureau until July, 1947, when he was named as director of the Division of Plant Industry, a position which he continues to hold.

The plant inspection work and other related activities since July 1, 1947, have been under the supervision of Frank A. Soraci, chief, Bureau of Entomology. Previous to that time, Ralph B. Lott and Frank A. Soraci were chief inspectors. William M. Boyd was appointed supervisor of nursery inspection on July 1, 1947.

Under the law, nurseries must be inspected at least once each year. If found free of pests the nursery is given a certificate of inspection about September 1, under which sales of nursery stock are lawfully permitted until the following September. If injurious insects or plant diseases are found, the infested plants must first either be destroyed or sprayed, and then a reinspection made.

From a total of 154 nurseries certified in 1916, the number gradually increased to 692 in 1934, and then experienced a gradual decline. Since 1949, about five hundred nurseries have been certified annually. Dealers in nursery stock are required to submit a list of firms from which they expect to purchase nursery stock; if the list is approved, a dealer's certificate is issued. Copies of the nursery inspection certificate must accompany each parcel of stock sold. The forty-seven dealers' certificates issued in 1916 declined to thirty-three in 1927, built up to 140 by 1934, and then declined again until at present around 70 such certificates are issued each year.

Thousands of cases of foreign nursery stock from Europe and South America were inspected from 1916 to 1920, after which shipments declined to several hundred cases each year, due to the restrictive regulations of Federal Quarantine No. 37. The comparatively small number of such imports during the past ten years has been inspected by Federal men at ports of entry. During the early years many insects were intercepted on such stock, which was examined particularly for gypsy and brown-tall moths that were present in parts of Europe. During 1916 twenty-five species of insects, eleven of them being scale insects, were intercepted on foreign stock.

It has always been the practice of the plant inspection service to examine a part of the nursery stock shipped to New Jersey from other states, even though such shipments are accompanied by certificates of inspection. From 1916 to 1925, approximately 20,000 fruit trees were destroyed or returned to nurseries in the Middle West because they were infected with crown gall. Since 1926 comparatively few rejections have been necessary. From 1916 to 1954, the yearly number of parcels of domestic stock examined has varied from 200 to as many as 3,000, with an average of about 600, depending on the pressure of other work.