If you’re a landowner with kauri trees on your property, we encourage you to learn as much as you can about kauri dieback and how you can help prevent the spread of this disease.
A Citizen Science project working to protect one of New Zealand’s most important icons
Video Source: Auckland University
STEP 1 - IDENTIFY
Like any disease, the first step is to diagnose or identify the existence of the disease. Kauri dieback manifests itself in a range of symptoms depending on the stage of the disease in the tree. These symptoms include:
Basal bleeding. It’s important to note that not all infected trees show a trunk lesion, and not all trunk lesions are caused by kauri dieback disease.
Yellowing of leaves. As the disease takes hold, leaves typically lighten to turn green-yellow and then yellow.
Thinning of canopy. The image in this link uses 5 states:
- Healthy crown – no visible signs of dieback
- Canopy thinning
- Thinning & some branch dieback
- Severe dieback
Dead branches – in severe cases the branches will start to die.
Dead trees. The longer term result for the disease.
Image sources: Dr Ian Horner, Kauri Rescue Trust, Tiakina Kauri website
Step 2 - Verify
Once we receive your request (see “Take Action” below), we will be in touch to arrange a site visit. One or more members of the Kauri Rescue™ team will visit your property to assess the condition of your trees. The team may take a soil sample if they think you have kauri dieback symptoms.
We will also provide advice and guidance on steps you can take to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading to or from your property.
The soil samples will be tested by Plant & Food Research (the national kauri dieback diagnostic lab) and results will determine whether to progress with step 3: Treatment.
STEP 3 - Treatment
If your property has a positive soil sample result for Phytophthora agathidicida, or if it is close enough to a positive sample on another property, then Kauri Rescue™ will offer you the opportunity to treat your kauri trees at no cost to you.
We are currently offering treatment with the chemical phosphite, which has been well established by research as an effective treatment for kauri dieback disease. However it is not a cure, but will enable most trees to survive alongside the disease when they would otherwise die. Landowners are loaned a kit comprising treatment and monitoring equipment, a how-to manual and video and are trained in person by a Kauri Rescue™ team member on how to apply the treatment and do the required health monitoring of the trees. Landowners who have a large property with a lot of trees and who cannot manage to complete the work themselves can receive help from Kauri Rescue™ and our team of volunteer Ambassadors.
Step 4 - Monitor
As part of the treatment process landowners are expected to monitor the health condition of their kauri trees. This simple process looks at the state of the canopy, moss and lichen coverage and any basal bleeds present on the tree and takes a couple of minutes per tree to complete. The baseline health assessment established at the time of treatment is then compared to reassessments done in future years by the landowner to track how the trees are responding to the treatment. After about 4 years some of the trees may need re-treating if symptoms start to return, so the reassessments will establish when this is required and which trees need to be re-treated. The citizen science data collected by landowners contributes to the understanding and refining of treatment methods and their effectiveness in supporting kauri health and the management of kauri dieback disease.
Complete the site visit request form and we’ll be in touch to discuss next steps.
Request a site visit
Kauri Protection Agency established by Biosecurity New Zealand to promote, support, fund research and development for the protection of kauri with an emphasis on kauri dieback. Excellent site with extensive resources and guides for anyone interested in learning more about kauri dieback.
A background to the origins and development of Kauri Rescue™. Key features of this site include the history of kauri demise over the last couple of centuries, the science and development of Kauri Rescue™ and some of the lessons we are learning in this process.
Bioheritage National Science Challenge initiative to manage government funding of research into kauri dieback and myrtle rust. This site provides some insights into the work under way to address both of these challenges.
A full list these excellent guides can be found in the Tiakina Kauri website:
Includes guides on kauri care, principles of hygiene, tree removal and planting, disposal of contaminated soil and a number of others.
Protect kauri when visiting the forest. These guidelines have been developed tailored to your activity with detailed information about the steps you need to take to help save kauri.
Helping to promote kauri protection by nurturing students’ knowledge. These resources have been developed by the Kauri Protection Programme for use in schools.