Myrtle Rust on Raoul Island
Myrtle rust has been detected in pohutukawa trees on Raoul Island and MPI is working with the Department of Conservation and industry groups to manage its spread.
Myrtle rust is a fungal infection that can travel long distances in the wind and attacks plants of the myrtaceae family. It could affect iconic New Zealand plants like pohutukawa, kanuka, manuka and rata, as well as commercially-grown species such as eucalyptus, guava and feijoa.
Although myrtle rust has not been detected on mainland New Zealand, it’s important – and a timely reminder for growers – to look out for symptoms on their native myrtaceae trees. Look for:
• bright yellow powdery eruptions appearing on the underside of the leaf (young infection)
• bright yellow powdery eruptions on both sides of the leaf (mature infection)
• brown/grey rust pustules (older spores) can appear on older lesions
• leaves may become buckled or twisted and die off.
If you see any of these symptoms or anything else unusual report it to MPI on 0800 80 99 66.
A Myrtle rust fact sheet is also available on the MPI website.