Tree Healthcare & Biodiversity Workshop 1

Myrtle Rust and Kauri Dieback for the Practicing Arborist
Presented by Fredrik helm, Emma Bodley, Nick Waipara and Robert Beresford
Tree Healthcare & Biodiversity Workshop 1

Tree Healthcare & Biosecurity Series

Supported by NZ Arb and the Auckland Council


Workshop 1: Myrtle Rust and Kauri Dieback for the Practicing Arborist 


Presented by: Fredrik helm, Emma Bodley, Nick Waipara and Robert Beresford

When: Saturday 27 March 2021

Where: Online (Zoom)


Watch the videos below or click here to watch the full playlist on YouTube.


To download the presentation slides, click here.

Emma Bodley, Auckland Botanical Gardens

Emma Talks about the key function of Botanic Gardens and how they are helping to monitor plant and tree diseases. Emma explains some of the basic details around the disease myrtle rust, she gives an overview of the species that are monitored at Auckland Botanic Gardens and gives an outline of the ongoing work that is carried out at the gardens. Emma explains some of the key symptoms of Myrtle Rust and what it may look like and what are some of the key species that are rare in New Zealand that may be impacted by Myrtle Rust.

Introduction, Plant & Food Research

Dr Nick Waipara (Plant & Food Research) gives an overview of the range of research work that is undertaken at the Crop and Food Facility in Auckland. Nick explains how the research programs are funded and the various groups and organisation that carry out research work. A thank you to all those who provide help and assistance to fund the research on tree diseases.

Discussion, Plant & Food Research

Introduction from the two scientists (Dr Nick Waipara and Rob Beresford) from Plant and Food Research on Myrtle Rust and how it has spread across the globe and how and when it arrived in New Zealand and where it is currently found and the types of tree species it affects.

The discussion includes the type of native trees that are impacted by the disease, and when it is most likely to be visible, and what parts of the plants you are most likely to see the disease. The disease has specific seasons and its prevalence is discussed. Reference to how to record occurrences of the disease.

Examples (Section 1)

Rob Beresford (Plant & Food Research) gives an introduction on the rationale for the trial plot of native trees and the mix of species that are being tested and monitored for Myrtle Rust.

Examples (Section 2)

Rob Beresford (Plant & Food Research) talks about how the trial planting for monitoring myrtle rust with key native species is indicating how some varieties within the trial plot are showing signs of genetic resistance to Myrtle Rust and what does this mean for the future of plants in propagation.

Examples (Section 3)

Rob Beresford (Plant & Food Research) talks about the impacts of myrtle rust on pohutukawa and where you are likely to find symptoms of the disease. The discussion also refers to control trials that are underway to determine if fungicide treatments can help to control the prevalence of the disease. Options for preventative treatments and where it is appropriate to consider the use of a spray regime.

Examples (Section 4)

Rob Beresford (Plant & Food Research) talks about the observations of early resilience being displayed by some native species. Rob talks bout the various strains of the disease and what is found in New Zealand.

Examples (Section 5)

Rob Beresford (Plant & Food Research) Talks about the myrtle rust monitoring program in Auckland. Rob describes the purpose of the research program that is underway to explore the impacts of Myrtle Rust on native species. Rob talks about the use of a plant trial plot to explore how myrtle rust impacts on a variety of native species.

Also several examples of the symptoms of Myrtle Rust on Pohutukawa and Ramarama (Lophomyrtus bullata)

Examples (Section 6)

Dr Nick Waipara (Plant & Food Research) talks about the Myrtaceae family of trees and explains the range of species that are affected by Myrtle Rust in New Zealand.

Summary, Plant & Food Research

Where can you find further information? Nick talks about the various outlets where more information can be found on Myrtle Rust and what is the status of the disease currently in New Zealand. What are the current biosecurity controls and how should you deal with plant material that is infected with the disease. Details on how you should report the disease and why it is important that we track the disease annually.

Nick also talks about the species that are impacted by the disease and how the disease is likely to have an impact over the long term on the range of native species. The impacts of the diseased are not well understood and so the effects long term are important to track and record. The important role arborists can play in tracking recording and reporting the occurrence of myrtle rust and how to report it.