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Response management plan for an incursion of pine pitch canker in Australia and New Zealand

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
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 111, September 2001.

Pitch canker disease of pines, caused by the fungus Fusarium circinatum, is a serious disease of southern pines ( Pinus elliottii, P. taeda) in south-eastern United States and of Pinus radiata in California. It is also known from the Caribbean, Central America, Japan and South Africa. This disease presents a major threat to the large exotic forest industries, based principally on pines, in Australia and New Zealand (FHNews 69:170:1; 86:1). Recognising this, the Australasian Standing Committee on Forestry has commissioned the preparation of an Incursion Management Plan specifically for pine pitch canker, for both Australia and New Zealand.

The Standing Committee on Forestry comprises representatives nominated by the Minister for Forestry in each State and Territory of Australia, the Commonwealth Government of Australia, and New Zealand. Murray McAlonan, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, represents New Zealand. The Committee provides “authoritative policy and strategic advice to help drive sustainable national and regional development of forestry and related industries”.

The Standing Committee on Forestry has entrusted the Forest Health Group at Forest Research with the preparation of the Incursion Management Plan, acknowledging that the Group collectively possesses greater expertise in pine pitch canker management than any other body in Australasia. The Forest Health Group will be responsible for writing the general part of the Plan, which will apply to both countries, and the segments that refer specifically to New Zealand. The parts applicable solely to Australia will be contributed by Jack Simpson (State Forests of New South Wales) and Ross Wylie (Queensland Forestry Research Institute).

The Management Plan will detail the procedures to be followed to minimise the risk of pine pitch canker introduction, and to ensure rapid detection and a quick and effective response if it does arrive. The Plan follows the guidelines laid down in the general incursion management plans for Australia (“Responding to Incursions: A Generic Incursion Management Plan for the Australian Forest Sector”) and for New Zealand (“Policy Statement on Responding to an Exotic Organism Incursion”. MAF Biosecurity Authority). The Plan will also include a comprehensive summary of our current knowledge of the disease, the fungus that causes it, the way the disease is likely to behave in Australia and New Zealand, and an economic evaluation of the likely effect of the disease on pine plantations.  A first draft of the Plan should be ready by the end of October.

(Peter Gadgil, Forest Research)


This information is intended for general interest only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific specialist advice on any matter and should not be relied on for that purpose. Scion will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, loss of profits, or any other intangible losses that result from using the information provided on this site.
(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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