Cyclaneusma needle cast
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Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.
From Forest Health News No. 46, September 1995.
This season is proving to be a particularly bad one for Cyclaneusma needle-cast and samples have been steadily coming into the pathology lab for diagnosis. In addition to the classical symptoms of needle yellowing followed by prolific casting of affected foliage, we are seeing in some instances a reddish-brown needle colouration that has created some concern that other agents may be responsible for the condition. On close examination of such foliage only well-known saprophytic fungi have been found, that is, those most commonly found on needles in the litter. Localised conditions, such as long periods of leaf-wetness, probably contribute to this rapid invasion of Cyclaneusma -infected needles by decay fungi. As the spring flush develops and needles elongate the appearance of badly affected stands will improve dramatically. At this point in time when very susceptible trees have lost most of their year-old (and older) foliage, and prior to the development of the new season's needles, these trees may appear to be very nearly dead. The primary infection period for Cyclaneusma minus is in late summer/autumn thus current-season needles remain unaffected during the bulk of the growing season. Symptom expression is at its most marked in early spring.
(Margaret Dick, FRI)
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