Myrtle rust has now been identified in five locations in New Zealand. It was first identified on Raul Island in the Kermadec Island group on the 17th of March, 2017. The islands are under the New Zealand flag and Raul Island is a DOC-run wildlife sanctuary, 10,000 km north of Cape Reinga. The infection spread fairly quickly to mainland New Zealand and there are now (27th November) nearly 200 individual properties that have identified infections.
Carolina Lara is a PhD student at the University of Auckland. Part of her research involves sampling tōtara tree (Podocarpus totara) leaves to conduct genetic analysis.
We were recently asked to be part of a research project for Auckland Botanical Gardens (ABG), who are working on a positive biological control agent for Kauri dieback Phytophthora agathidicida. Kauri dieback is host-specific to NZ Kauri trees. It kills everything from seedlings to giant trees and spreads through soil moisture and soil movement.
The Asia-Pacific Tree Climbing Competition (APTCC) runs every year and this was its first time in Hong Kong.
Last summer I was back in Sweden for a break. I had the opportunity to spend an evening with Swede Dr Johan Eklöf.
The Chinese Lantern Festival has become an iconic event in Auckland, put on by Auckland Tourism and Events to celebrate Chinese New Year.