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Kauri Die Back

What is Kauri Dieback?

Kauri Dieback refers to the deadly kauri disease caused by Phytophthora taxonAgathis (or PTA). This fungus-like disease was formally identified in 2008 as a distinct and previously undescribed species of Phytophthora.

Kauri Dieback is specific to New Zealand kauri and can kill trees of all ages.

What does it do to kauri trees?

Microscopic spores in the soil infect kauri roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients within the tree. Infected trees show a range of symptoms including yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches and lesions that bleed resin at the base of the trunk. Nearly all infected kauri die. Scientists are currently working to find control tools for this disease but there is no known treatment at this time.

In the past 10 years, kauri dieback has killed thousands of kauri in New Zealand. 

How is it spread?

The spores of kauri dieback are found in the soil around affected Kauri. Any movement of infected soil can spread the disease. Human activity involving soil movement (on footwear, machinery or equipment) is thought to be the greatest cause of spread, Kauri Dieback may also spread though ground water and soil on animals. 

Where did it come from?

Spores of kauri dieback were first discovered along with sick kauri on Great Barrier Island in the 1970's. Identification methods at the time led to these samples being misclassified as a morphologically similar species.

Kauri Dieback was formally identified in April 2008. Its closest known relative is a chestnut pathogen from Taiwan (Phytophthora katsurae).

Kauri Dieback is believed to have been introduced from overseas. 

Where is it?

Kauri Dieback has been found in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, on private land throughout the Auckland region, in the forest plantations of Omahuta, Glenbervie and Russel in Northland, Department of Conservation reserves at Okura, Albany, Pakiri, Great Barrier, Trounson Kauri Park and Waipoua Forest in Northland, home of our most iconic kauri - Tane Mahuta.

At this stage, the disease has not been detected in many areas of Northland forest, the Hunua Ranges, Hauraki Gulf Islands (excluding Great Barrier) and bush in the Coromandel peninsula. It's imperative that we protect these uninfected areas. 

Is it in Muriwai?

At this point Kauri Dieback has not been recorded in Goldie Bush, we hope to keep it that way, but we need your help!

You can help keep this diesease from killing out Kauri by;
  • Getting involved with our program to work with DOC to monitor and refill cleaning stations at Goldie Bush
  • Making sure you always wash your shoes at the cleaning station in the entry to Goldie Bush
  • Educating the public using Goldie Bush about the risks and why they must clean their shoes

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Phelan Pirrie,
6 Mar 2012, 16:26
Phelan Pirrie,
5 Jun 2013, 16:12