Estate Living Magazine Investment - Issue 34 October 2018 - Page 45

Symptoms ?
By now you ’ re probably out in your prize-wining garden , staring at your trees . What are you looking for ? Tiny entry and exit holes in the bark ( think less than half the thickness of a matchstick ), which are usually surrounded by sawdust , and bleeding ( nectar or blobs of goo oozing from the bark ) are usually your first clues . But since the combination of boring and fungus weakens the core of the tree , branches may snap off , revealing the beetles ’ galleries and the webs of the black fungus that lines them .
How does it spread ?
Speaking to a group of environmentalists during a visit to Knysna earlier this year , FABI ’ s Prof . Wilhelm de Beer , a mycologist and fungal biologist , said that the beetle , which comes from Southeast Asia , was probably spread around the world in untreated timber such as that used for making shipping pallets .
Once here , though , the beetle can spread through the movement of infested branches – taking your diseased wood to the municipal dump , for example – or through the movement of infested nursery plants . FABI ’ s website notes : ‘ We have recently observed PSHB attacking containerised trees in the nursery environment . The potential for spreading over long distances through the sale and movement of nursery stock is cause for serious concern .’
So what ’ s being done about this ?
We ’ ve known for some time that increases in the movement of plants and plant material around the world are potentially huge threats to our biodiversity , which is why scientists have established the International Plant Sentinel Network which , according to its website , is
being developed to facilitate collaboration among institutes around the world , with a focus on linking botanic gardens and arboreta , national plant protection organisations ( NPPOs ) and plant health scientists . The aim will be for these institutes to work together in order to provide an early warning system of new and emerging pest and pathogen risks .
And , since our South African institutions are joining up as members , this means that we ’ ll be able to access the latest science on the subject . But the crucial words here are ‘ will be ’. We ’ re only at the start of our journey .
That said , however , here at home , the Department of Agriculture , Forestry and Fisheries , the Department of Environmental Affairs and various other stakeholders have formed a steering committee to develop an action plan for combatting the problem , to conduct surveys and monitor the spread of the problem , to plan and conduct trials on chemical treatments , and to create an awareness campaign ( especially to stop the movement of infested plant material – dead or alive ).
What can you do ?
Prof . de Beer noted in his talk in Knysna that control requires cutting down and removing infected plants , and the establishment of dedicated dumping sites where infected wood can be burned , fumigated or solarised . The latter is the simple but surprisingly effective strategy of sealing the infected plant material in plastic bags and leaving them in the sun to heat up . He said , too , that it is possible to treat economically valuable trees , or historically or culturally important specimens , with fungicides and pesticides , but none have yet been registered for this particular problem in South Africa .
Some people believe that the beetles could be lured and trapped , but this will only become possible when we fully understand their life cycle and breeding seasons , so that we can plan our campaign for the right time of year . And , anyway , it might not work . Insects communicate very effectively through pheromones , so they may be able to tell each other to stay away from our bug traps .
Prof . de Beer concluded his talk by telling us that the most efficient and long-lasting solution is likely to come from biological control , but that finding the correct one would cost millions , and could take years .
But given that we might lose enormous swathes of our urban and indigenous forests , which are some of our most important buffers against climate change and also add enormous value to properties around the country , perhaps now ’ s the time for government , individuals and private enterprise to start finding the funds to resource FABI to do just that . Which would truly be a good way to panic . www . servest . co . za
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Symptoms? That said, however, here at home, the Department of Agriculture, By now you’re probably out in your prize-wining garden, staring at Forestry and Fisheries, the Department of Environmental Affairs your trees. What are you looking for? Tiny entry and exit holes in and various other stakeholders have formed a steering committee the bark (think less than half the thickness of a matchstick), which to develop an action plan for combatting the problem, to conduct are usually surrounded by sawdust, and bleeding (nectar or blobs surveys and monitor the spread of the problem, to plan and conduct of goo oozing from the bark) are usually your first clues. But since trials on chemical treatments, and to create an awareness campaign the combination of boring and fungus weakens the core of the tree, (especially to stop the movement of infested plant material – dead branches may snap off, revealing the beetles’ galleries and the webs or alive). of the black fungus that lines them. How does it spread? What can you do? Prof. de Beer noted in his talk in Knysna that control requires cutting Speaking to a group of environmentalists during a visit to Knysna down and removing infected plants, and the establishment of earlier this year, FABI’s Prof. Wilhelm de Beer, a mycologist and dedicated dumping sites where infected wood can be burned, fungal biologist, said that the beetle, which comes from Southeast fumigated or solarised. The latter is the simple but surprisingly Asia, was probably spread around the world in untreated timber effective strategy of sealing the infected plant material in plastic such as that used for making shipping pallets. bags and leaving them in the sun to heat up. He said, too, that it is possible to treat economically valuable trees, or historically or Once here, though, the beetle can spr VBF&VvFRfVVB7VGW&ǒ'FB7V6V2vFgVv6FW2BW7F6FW2'W@bfW7FVB'&6W2( 2FrW"F6V6VBvBFFRV6RfRWB&VV&Vv7FW&VBf"F2'F7V"&&V6WFGVf"WR( 2"F&VvFRfVVBbfW7FVBW'6W'g&6G2d$( 2vV'6FRFW3( vRfR&V6VFǒ'6W'fVB4 GF6r6FW&6VBG&VW2FRW'6W'Vf&VBFR6RVR&VƖWfRFBFR&VWFW26VB&RW&VBBG&VBFVFf"7&VFrfW"rF7F6W2F&VvFR6RB'WBF2vǒ&V6R76&RvVvRgVǒVFW'7FBFV fVVBbW'6W'7F626W6Rf"6W&W266W&( ƖfR76RB'&VVFr6V626FBvR6W"6v6vN( 2&VrFR&WBF3v^( fRvf"6RFRFB7&V6W2FRfVVB`f"FR&vBFRbV"BvB֖vBBv&6V7G06V6FRfW'VffV7FfVǒF&VvW&W26FW&P&RFFVV6FW"F7Fvg&W"'VrG&2G2BBFW&&VBFRv&B&RFVFǒVvPF&VG2FW"&FfW'6Gv62v66VF7G2fRW7F&Ɨ6VB&bFR&VW"66VFVB2FƲ'FVƖrW2FBFR7BVff6V@FRFW&FB6VFVWGv&v666&FrFG2Br7Fr6WF2ƖVǒF6Rg&&v66G&vV'6FR2'WBFBfFrFR6'&V7BRvVB67B֖Ɩ2B6VBFP&VrFWfVVBFf6ƗFFR6&&Fr7FGWFW0&VBFRv&BvFf7W2Ɩ涖r&F2v&FV2@&&&WFFB&FV7F&v6F22@BVF66VF7G2FRv&Rf"FW6R7FGWFW2Fv&FvWFW"&FW"F&fFRV&ǒv&r77FVbWr@VW&vrW7BBFvV&62৖V'2'WBvfVFBvR֖vB6RV&W27vFW2bW"W&&@FvVW2f&W7G2v6&R6RbW"7B'FB'VffW'0v7B6ƖFR6vRB6FBV&W2fVRF&W'FW0&VBFR6VG'W&2~( 2FRFRf"vfW&VBB66RW"6WFg&67FGWF2&RrW2V&W'2FfGV2B&fFRVFW'&6RF7F'BfFrFRgVG2FF2V2FBv^( &R&RF66W72FRFW7B66V6RFR&W6W&6Rd$FFW7BFBv6vVBG'Vǒ&RvBvF7V&V7B'WBFR7'V6v&G2W&R&R( v&^( v^( &RǒBFR27F'BbW"W&Wwwr6W'fW7B6wwrW7FFRƗfr6C