Thursday, 20 September 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Kauri 2000 to continue planting trees despite dieback

Kauri 2000 to continue planting trees despite dieback

The confirmation that kauri dieback disease is present on the Coromandel Peninsula is devastating for most, if not all, people. At an emergency meeting held by the Kauri 2000 Trust, chair, Alison Henry said, “We hoped that the Peninsula was free of the disease, but this news confirms our worst fears.”
At the meeting the trustees of the Trust were unanimous in their decision to continue planting kauri and will be organising planting days again this June. Kauri 2000 maintains all their planting sites for three to five years. All their existing sites are healthy with no indication of dieback. “We are confident that continuing to plant is the right thing to do. Indeed, our small seedlings could be seen as the proverbial canary in the coalmine and should the disease be present, we will be warned very early,” said Mrs Henry.
Kauri dieback is caused by a soil-born phytophthora which is a fungus-like pathogen. It enters the tree through its small roots and gradually strangles the tree of nutrients. 
While young and mature trees take some years to show symptoms, small seedlings succumb within a few weeks. 
The Trust is working closely with the Kauri Dieback Management Team, which includes representatives of the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Waikato Regional Council.  Education about the disease and how to stop it spreading is the best defence against kauri dieback and will be a major focus for both the Trust and the Dieback Team.  Because the disease is spread by soil, it is essential that everyone understands that all boots, spades, bikes and equipment are cleaned of all soil before entering any of the Coromandel forests. 
Kauri 2000 has been planting kauri trees on the Coromandel Peninsula since 1999 and this year the Trust will reach a major milestone of planting their 40,000th seedling. For more information about kauri dieback see www.kauridieback.co.nz.

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