[24 May/The Country]

Researchers at Scion have made a breakthrough in studying red needle cast, a pine tree disease, which falls in the same family as kauri dieback. The researchers studied the way the disease behaved in both detached needles and the whole pine tree and found infection had two peaks, at four days and 22 days, which helps to shed light on disease resistance and the incubation period. The work is important for forestry internationally as foliar diseases have emerged as significant concerns for conifer forest productivity in New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, said Nari Williams, Senior Forest Pathologist at Scion and PHD student Mireia Gomez-Gallego’s Supervisor for this research. Mrs Williams reports that managing foliar diseases is important for maintaining resilient forest productivity.