Kauri Dieback Disease

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Kauri dieback is in Kaipātiki!
Help us to keep our Kauri standing

​Pest Free Kaipātiki is committed to protecting our precious kauri trees and is working hard to reduce the spread of kauri dieback disease by providing education, resources, and training to the community. We are very grateful to the Kaipātiki Local Board, Auckland Council, and the whole community for taking steps to combat the spread of kauri dieback in Kaipātiki.

 

​What is kauri dieback?

Kauri dieback disease is caused by a soil-borne organism (Phytophthora agathidicida) that infects the roots and vascular tissue of kauri, causing dieback in the canopy and eventually leading to whole-tree death. The disease was first found in the 1970s, but it was not until 2008 that it was formally identified and its threat recognised. Since 2008, the disease has spread throughout the natural range of kauri (see its distribution here), and although there is encouraging research underway, a cure is yet to be found.

 

How do I recognise kauri dieback?

The most common symptoms associated with kauri dieback disease are:

  • Gum bleeding from the tree’s lower trunk

  • Leaf yellowing

  • Thinning canopy

  • Dead branches

​If a kauri is showing some or all of these symptoms, the safest assumption is that it is infected and should be treated with caution.

 

How can I help?

​Kauri dieback is spread in infected soil to the tree’s root system, therefore risk mitigation measures focus on limiting soil movement and protecting the roots. To reduce the chance of kauri dieback being spread:

  • Clean all soil from your shoes and equipment each time you enter or leave an area with kauri 

  • Keep to the tracks and away from roots

  • When walking your dog, keep them on the track and wash their paws too

  • Respect the track closures due to kauri dieback and visit any of the numerous open tracks in Kaipātiki, instead. For a local guide to track closures, find the Kaipātiki Explorer here.

 

What is the advice for land-owners?

The surest way to protect kauri is to keep away from them. In the case that kauri are on your property, however, this isn’t always achievable. If you have kauri on your property, there are some precautions we encourage you to take to ensure their safety.

 

  • Consider how soil might be moved to and from your property, particularly within the vicinity of the kauri. This may be on footwear, tyres, tools, or pets’ paws. All soil should be cleaned off such items and then disposed of via a sewer system (e.g. flushed down the toilet) - do not dispose of the water onto a lawn or into a stormwater drain. 

  • Consider who might be visiting your property and come near to the kauri. This may be friends, family, or contractors. Make visitors aware of the risk and ask them to follow the same precautions that you do.

  • Consider the movement of water on your property. If the kauri is down-slope from a carport, for instance, there is a risk of infected soil moving to the kauri during rain events or when cleaning your car. 

  • Track the health of your kauri from a distance, and if signs of dieback occur please take a photo and report it to Pest Free Kaipātiki or Auckland Council. To provide adequate protection to the kauri on your property, you may need to coordinate with your neighbours.

  • Attend a Kauri Protection Workshop hosted by Pest Free Kaipātiki. 

 

What is Pest Free Kaipātiki doing?

  • Providing education and training to the community through our free Kauri Protection Workshops. These workshops are run throughout the year, and are an opportunity for the public to learn about kauri dieback disease and its impacts, as well as some practical skills for protecting the species. These workshops also offer the necessary training to develop management plans for carrying out restoration work in reserves with kauri.

  • Engagement and promotion of kauri protection to various education groups, and attendance at various events to provide advice to the community.

  • Establishing Ecological Halos to increase predator protection in backyards, with the aim to minimise the presence of pest animals that can spread dieback within and between reserves, and to reduce the need for people to move within reserves to maintain traplines.

  • PFK has established an agreement to work alongside Kauri Rescue, an organisation that assists private landowners.