Kauri dieback – what you can do to help

Kauri dieback has been confirmed up here in the Herekino and Raetea forests. It isn’t just out there ‘somewhere’, it is here.

The Kauri Dieback website brings together practical information on how we can all do our bit in the forests to save our kauri, along with educational information on what it is and how it spreads. It takes just a pinhead of soil stuck to our boots or equipment etc spread the disease; tiny but deadly.

Phytophthora agathidicida, the pathogen (disease producing agent) that causes kauri dieback, was only discovered in 2009. In its inactive state the pathogen can live for many years without a kauri anywhere nearby. It can also survive for many years above ground. So it’s vital that footwear and other gear is cleaned and disinfected before going near kauri, and again before leaving an area with kauri, regardless of how long it has been in storage. Kauri dieback kills kauri of all sizes and of any age – from seedlings to giants that pre-date human settlement.

You can’t tell just by looking whether a kauri tree is infected with dieback or not. An infected kauri may show symptoms like yellowing leaves, a thinning canopy, dead branches or large lesions (areas of damage) near the base of the tree that bleed resin. However, symptoms like these might be caused by other factors – for example, drought or age. Infected kauri may appear healthy and not show any symptoms during early-stage infection for many years – and some never develop trunk lesions. You can call the Kauri Dieback Programme hotline on 0800 NZ KAURI (69 52874) or email kauridieback@mpi.govt.nz for more information or to report a tree that looks unhealthy. The programme team will send any reports of unhealthy trees to the appropriate council or land authority to manage.

A new set of guidelines for trappers working in areas with kauri is now available on the site. They cover things like the planning and positioning of traplines, hygiene protocols and the capture and disposal of material and waste-water.

The website also features guidelines for a range of other activities, including mountainbiking, horseriding, hunting, operating vehicles and heavy machinery, pruning or removing kauri and disposing of contaminated material.

Please help spread the word within your networks about how people can help stop the spread of kauri dieback. Kauri trees are found amongst other native trees throughout the Upper North Island, and especially here in the Far North. But kauri dieback is threatening kauri with extinction. There is no cure for kauri dieback and no evidence that kauri have any natural resistance to the disease. But kauri can be saved – by people like us taking action!

 

 

 

Photo and information courtesy of http://www.kauridieback.co.nz

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