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Attempt to contain myrtle rust in Taranaki

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/05/2017

© @MPI_NZ / Twitter The Ministry for Primary Industries is working to contain myrtle rust found in a Taranaki plant nursery.

MPI confirmed the devastating fungal infection had reached Waitara on Wednesday, after symptoms were found on young plants in a nursery.

On Thursday, the area 500 metres out from the infection site was being inspected, movement of plants in the area had been restricted and preparations were being made to treat the nursery with fungicide.

Last week nurseries at risk of myrtle rust infection in Kerikeri were placed under legal control by the MPI.

The fungal plant disease was located in a Kerikeri nursery in early May, before spreading to a neighbouring residential garden.

There's been no further confirmed cases so far in Northland and all species that could be affected have been safely removed from the nursery and destroyed.

Myrtle rust attacks native trees, such as pohutukawa and rata, and could cause serious damage to manuka trees, used in honey production.

There is no known method for controlling it in the wild, other than applying fungicide in very small areas.

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