The state's Department of Agriculture on Monday announced that the 14-year effort to eradicate an orchard disease called Plum Pox Virus in Pennsylvania has been successful.
The state was declared free of the virus in October 2009 after three years of negative testing, but a recent survey marks the third of three consecutive years of required monitoring. Since the disease has not reappeared, the virus is considered officially eradicated.
The state tested 41,408 leaf samples in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster and York counties.
The virus severely affects production of fruit-bearing and ornamental varieties of almond, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach and plum stone fruit trees.