Nursery tackles mealybug

It’s business as usual for Grand Cayman’s largest nursery despite the ongoing threat posed by the Island’s newest pest, the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug,

Sandy Urquhart, senior vice president of design for Dart Realty (Cayman) Ltd. who has overseen the development of the West Indian Club nursery over the past decade, is confident any threats the PHM poses will be minimal.

The PHM has now been confirmed in separate George Town, West Bay and Bodden town locations.

The nursery operates in two locations: a 16 acre tree nursery at West Bay and another specialty 11-acre nursery at the Camana Bay site, which handles propagation, shrub and ground cover holding and a grass farm.

‘While we may be in an area that is currently being controlled for PHM, we are operating as normal,’ he said. ‘Vigilance and close attention to pests are standard procedure for us.’

The nursery’s inventory is calculated at 31,691 individual plants, with about 300 genus’s and more than 500 species, grown in various size containers.

While nursery staff has taken the aggressive PHM prevention measures outlined by the Department of Agriculture, Mr. Urquhart said that an infestation has not truly been a concern because of the top-notch plant supervision and maintenance standards already in place.

‘Even if an infestation were to be spotted, it would be dealt with so quickly and efficiently there would not be any issue of us not being able to control it,’ he said.

Mr. Urquhart cited the nursery’s long-standing relationship with the Department of Agriculture and the skills and experience of facility staff in the confidence he has with regard to the PHM problem.