« on: July 25, 2014, 07:02:25 AM »
One thing to note is that most Ribes varieties are susceptible to white pine blister rust, so they are restricted or banned in many areas. Even if you are able to find an online supplier that will ship them to you (hint, hint ), use good judgement whether it would it would be the best idea for your local flora to introduce Ribes plants.Most Ribes were wiped out in the 40's-50's by Departments of Agriculture who wanted to protect white pines from the rust, but regulations in many states are relaxing lately. White pine blister rust kills white pines, but requires nearby Ribes plants to complete it's life cycle. Therefore - no Ribes = no rust.
A few details that can help us be responsible Ribes owners.
Black and golden currants are the worst carriers, so if you can go with another currant or gooseberries, that's good. Black and golden currants are banned in Delaware while other Ribes sp. are allowed. The ban was recently revised according to recommendations from University of Delaware pathologists.
There are rust-resistant varieties of Ribes, but they are only resistant to SYMPTOMS. They can still carry the disease and transfer it to nearby white pines.
The disease does require some proximity to pines to transfer. So if you plant Ribes, plant them >500ft from white pines if you can manage it. If you have a grove of white pines on your property that you love and you can't plant far away - maybe you should just plant some blueberries or another small fruit.
Thanks, Jimmy! I wasn't aware of all the details, especially regarding the resistant varieties. I will definitely take a good look around before I decide to start propagating my currants to different areas of my property.