Reprieve for Hunua kauri

16:00, Oct 29 2013
Kauri Dieback
ALL-CLEAR: The latest tests show kauri in the Hunua Ranges are still healthy.

The spread of kauri dieback in Auckland is slowing down and the Hunua Ranges still appear to be disease-free.

That's the good news from the latest round of monitoring of kauri forests in the North Island.

But an estimated 13,500 hectares of kauri forest in the Auckland region are infected and trees are still dying.

Diseased trees have been found on private land as far south as the Awhitu Peninsula.

Knowing which forests are healthy and which are contaminated is critical, Auckland Council biosecurity manager Jack Craw says.

"We are pleased to see that kauri in the Hunua Ranges, the Coromandel Peninsula and in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, between Waikato and Bay of Plenty, appear to remain unaffected by this deadly disease," he says.

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"In the Auckland region it's estimated 11,500 hectares of kauri on private land and more than 2000 on public parkland are infected and thousands of trees have already died."

Dieback is widespread throughout the Waitakere Ranges and estimates suggest it is present in around 11 percent of the dense areas of kauri forest.

It is caused by a microscopic fungus-like disease that attacks and kills kauri trees of all ages and sizes. Spores in soil spread the disease, which was identified as a major threat to kauri in 2008.

The lack of treatment tools means containment is essential to preserve kauri forests.

Everyone in the community has a part to play to help stop the disease spreading, the council says.

Anyone visiting forests should take precautions including cleaning shoes, tyres, equipment and machinery.

Visit kauridieback.co.nz to find out more.

Papakura Courier