Ohakune trees hit by disease

By Zaryd Wilson

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TREE DISEASE: A stand of trees on Clyde St in Ohakune has a heartwood fungus. PHOTO/ANTHEA HATFIELD
TREE DISEASE: A stand of trees on Clyde St in Ohakune has a heartwood fungus. PHOTO/ANTHEA HATFIELD

A stand of beech trees in Ohakune has been affected by a heartwood fungus.

Ohakune woman Anthea Hatfield said she noticed the state of the trees earlier this month.

"I was just driving back towards them and I thought 'Wow, that doesn't look healthy'," she said.

"It's an incredible stand of beautiful native timber, and it makes Ohakune look fantastic in my opinion. I don't want this fabulous stand of trees right in the middle of town to be dying."

Downer NZ contract manager Carol Woodmass confirmed the trees, near the Ohakune Information Centre, had the heartwood fungus Ganoderma applanatum, which was a wood-decomposing plant pathogen that could cause trees to die.

"The beech trees in Jubilee Park are declining because of disease. It is likely that the disease started due to root disturbance," she said. "We don't remove any healthy beech trees, just those that are in serious decline, and then they have been monitored for several years before we remove them when they become a safety issue, which is usually from the dead branches falling off the trees."

Downer, which is Ruapehu District Council's parks and reserves contractor, said the boardwalk setting was allowing for seedling trees to regenerate.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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