Fresh off the press is news of a newly identified threat that could kill a range of native plants including Pōhutukawa, Rata, Mānuka, Kānuka, Ramarama, Rōhutu and Swamp Maire.
At Leave No Trace our education programmes have included ways to avoid spreading Dydimo, Kauri Collar Rot/ Dieback, and invasive species generally under the principle “Leave What You Find”. This one looks like the spores are spread by wind and even touching infected leaves can help spread spores more widely (especially if they attach onto people who travel).
So what to do? If you see anything with these symptoms (see image) contact MPI and don’t touch the leaves. Clean your footwear and clothes thoroughly.
This looks like a potentially devastating disease for New Zealand and not just the native plants, also some important fruit crops could be affected. Let’s all do our best to stop this one.