This is a serious fungal disease that is easily spread by the wind, and is thought to be blowing across from Australia.
This disease has a particular relevance to NZ as it attacks plants which are members of the Myrtle Family. This includes many NZ Native plants, including the Pohutukawa, Manuka, Kanuka and Swamp Maire. Tt also affects Feijoa tree, Bottle Brush and Gum Tree.
What does it look like?
See the photo on the right to identify the fungal infection on a leaf
What do you do if you see it?
DO NOT touch or disturb the plant which you suspect has the disease.
Phone the MPI's exotic pests and diseases hotline on:
Spraying with anti-fungal sprays is one way all of us can help fight this new threat.
If it does become established in NZ, ongoing spray programmes will be the way to hopefully manage its impact on our fruit trees and native plants.
With Yates Fungus Fighter, the withholding period before you can eat any crop is 35 days for apples and 28 days for grapes
It is not recommend using it on any edible crops, apart from guavas, which are apart of the Myrtle Family. If you spayed your tree, including the ripening fruit, you will have to treat the crop as a waste this season.
For the rest of the garden use Grosafe FreeFloCopper, which has no withholding period, and is safe for all your edibles. You can use it on alternate weeks to the Yates Fungus Fighter as the Fungus Fighter is recommended to be used only 4 times in a season to prevent a build up of resistance to the chemical.
For the latest information
NZ Govt Media Release
Ministry for Primary Industries