Myrtle Rust Spreads to North Island

May 28, 2018

Feared plant disease myrtle rust has popped in new locations after its first sighting in Whanganui a week ago.

 

It has now been discovered in Raetihi and Ohakune.

 

The disease was first spotted in Whanganui last week, and two infected shrubs were removed from outside Horizons Regional Council offices.

 

The disease can kill feijoa, pohutukawa, manuka, gum and bottlebrush.

 

Horizons plant biosecurity leader Craig Davey says the Central Plateau was warm and wet enough for the rust to prosper.

 

He said it was important to keep tracking the disease in order to understand how it behaved in New Zealand.

 

The Ministry for Primary Industries and Department of Conservation are also involved in myrtle rust surveillance and removal.

 

Anyone who suspects they have seen myrtle rust is asked to ring 0800 80 99 66, and to take a photograph if possible, without touching it.

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