Re­minder of myr­tle rust

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - RU­RAL DE­LIV­ERY

The dis­cov­ery of myr­tle rust in­fect­ing two ma­ture trees in

toro­hanga has prompted a re­minder from Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil for sight­ings of the dis­ease to be re­ported.

The Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) briefed the re­gional coun­cil on the new finds and its planned re­sponse.

‘‘We’ve been told the fun­gus has likely ar­rived in toro­hanga on the wind,’’ said Pa­trick Wha­ley, the re­gional coun­cil’s in­te­grated catch­ment ser­vices man­ager.

‘‘With so many trea­sured myr- tle species in our re­gion it’s re­ally wor­ry­ing to have this dis­ease con­firmed, so we’ve of­fered for our biose­cu­rity of­fi­cers to work closely with MPI to help as di­rected,’’ he said.

He said myr­tle rust symp­toms will have been dor­mant over win­ter.

‘‘So with the ar­rival of spring it’s the right time for our com­mu­ni­ties to be on the look­out again for myr­tle rust, as its symp­toms will be more ob­vi­ous.

‘‘It’s also im­por­tant that any­one who planted myr­tle species in au­tumn and win­ter starts check­ing them for signs of myr­tle rust as the weather warms up,’’ he said.

Myr­tle rust ap­pears as bright yel­low and pow­dery erup­tions on the un­der­side of the leaf if it’s a young in­fec­tion, and then on both sides of the leaf if it’s a more ma­ture in­fec­tion. Other symp­toms in­clude brown/grey rust pus­tules on older le­sions.

Myr­tle rust is a fun­gal dis­ease that af­fects plants in the myr­tle fam­ily, such as po¯hutukawa, ma¯nuka, ka¯nuka, guava, fei­joa and eu­ca­lyp­tus.

Any­one who spots what they think is myr­tle rust should not touch or try to col­lect sam­ples, but in­stead call MPI’s hot­line on 0800 80 99 66.


Myr­tle Rust has been found in fei­joa trees, Waitara, ear­lier this year.

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