Myr­tle rust fears af­ter Te Kuiti nurs­ery tests

South Waikato News - - Fieldays - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

The tree killing Myr­tle rust dis­ease has been dis­cov­ered in a nurs­ery in Te Kuiti.

The dis­cov­ery was made when the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries traced sales of plants from an­other nurs­ery that tested pos­i­tive.

Re­stric­tions on the move­ment of risk goods from the prop­erty have been put in place so they can be treated for fungi­cide.

Sur­round­ing ar­eas con­tinue to be searched and se­nior ad­viser, Les­ley Pat­son con­firmed no plants had been traced back to sur­round­ing ar­eas to date but test­ing was con­tin­u­ing.

A sec­ond location in the pub­lic gar­dens in Te Kuiti was con­firmed on Mon­day.

The de­struc­tive dis­ease at­tacks var­i­ous species of plants in the myr­tle fam­ily in­clud­ing po­hutukawa, rata, manuka, gum, bot­tle­brush and fei­joa.

There has now been more than 20 dis­cov­er­ies of the dis­ease in Taranaki, three in North­land and two in Waikato.

To date the rust has been found on seedlings of Po­hutukawa, eu­ca­lyp­tus, manuka, Ra­ma­rama and Syzy­gium smithii. It has not been ob­served on fei­joa as yet. Peo­ple can re­port any sus­pected signs of myr­tle rust by call­ing 0800 80 99 66.

Brent Ro­gan of the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries NZ checks for myr­tle rust.

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