New myrtle rust find
With new infestations of myrtle rust found in Kerikeri and Mangawhai there is high chance it is also at Whangārei Heads. Adam Willetts, Bream Head Conservation Trust ranger, said anyone walking in or living near the area should look out for the deadly plant disease. The fungal disease severely attacks plants in the myrtle family, including pōhutukawa, mānuka and rātā. People should take photos if they can but not touch the infected leaves or collect samples, which could spread the disease. Reports of suspected cases are vital in determining where myrtle rust is and whether eradication, containment or slowing the spread is feasible. Symptoms are bright yellow/orange powdery patches on leaves, brown/grey rust pustules and buckled, twisted and dying leaves. Suspected sightings should be directed to Ministry of Primary Industries (0800 80 99 66).
Forestry block death
A man has died following an incident on a Northland forestry block. WorkSafe confirmed they were notified of an incident where a worker was injured by a moving vehicle on a forestry site near Pakotoi, 48km north-west of Whangārei, on May 28. He was flown by the Northland Rescue Helicopter to Auckland Hospital on the day. A WorkSafe spokesperson said the seriously injured man had died since and WorkSafe had opened an investigation. WorkSafe was notified of the fatality on Tuesday.
Free app to identify trees
Do you know your mānuka from your kānuka, your pōhutukawa from your rātā or ever wonder which trees are native? Anyone with a mobile smart phone can now educate themselves, friends and family with nztrees, a free app released by AUT's Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand (AENZ). AUT ecology researcher and app developer Johanna Spaak says the hope is people will use the app as a pocket guide as well as a pocket species collection tool. nztrees is available on Apple and Android platforms and the AUT ecologists expect it will be the first in a series of free nature identification apps to help people identify aspects of New Zealand nature either in the field or in the classroom.