Posted By QEII National Trust | December 15, 2020

Kauri are one of our unique taongaFound in the upper North Island, they are one of the world’s longestliving tree species and can grow to great heights, usually over 50 metres

Unfortunately, kauri dieback disease is a huge threat to these majestic trees. Caused by a microscopic fungus-like organism, Phytophthora agathidicida (PA), it lives in the soil and can be easily spread by human activity such as walking, running, or biking and by animal activity. 

It only takes a pinhead of soil to move enough resting spores to spread kauri dieback. Infected kauri is affected at the roots, which starves the tree by damaging the tissues that carry nutrients and water around the tree. Usually, kauri will show physical symptoms of the disease, however a tree can be infected and not show any symptoms at all.

There is no known cure for kauri dieback, so the best way to protect them is by stopping the spread.

The Kauri Dieback ProgrammeKia Toitū He Kauri – Keep Kauri Standing, have put together a guide for rural landowners who have kauri on or near their property. They worked with rural industry groups and farmers to create the guide, which is full of helpful information and a quick and simple checklist to prevent the spread of kauri dieback on rural properties, including: 

  • Stopping movement of dirt around kauri  
  • Fencing out stock  
  • Keeping outside the kauri root zones 
  • Guidance on farming and kauri  

Whether you are a landowner with kauri on your property or a visitor to the regions where kauri grow, everyone can play their part in protecting this taonga. 

If you’re in native bush in the upper North Island, it’s likely you’ll be near kauri so it’s important to always follow the appropriate hygiene steps to help prevent the spread of dieback disease. You should always: 

  • Use a wash station as instructed if available  
  • Clean your gear before and after forest visits. This includes shoes, tyres, and equipment
  • Stay on the marked tracks. This will ensure that you stay off kauri roots 

More information about kauri dieback and lots of other resources can be found on the Keep Kauri Standing website