Help stop the spread of Dieback

Residents can learn about the effects of a plant disease which causes plant roots to rot, in a new educational video released by the Shire of Mundaring. 

Presented by the Shire's Environmental Officer, Tracey Bell, the five-minute video 'What can we do about Dieback?' features information on the Phytophthora Dieback disease and tips about how to stop it spreading. 

Ms Bell said the video was the third in a series of environmental videos, aimed at bringing free, accessible education to residents during COVID-19. 

"Our natural bushland is at the heart of our community," she said. "We need to work together to continue to preserve its existence. 

"Phytophthora Dieback (dieback) is a huge concern for protecting our bushland and an important environmental issue that residents need to be aware of." 

Phytophthora Dieback is caused by the introduced pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi and infects both native and non-native plants, including banksias, grass trees, roses and fruit trees.

Ms Bell said it was a type of water mould that lives in soil and plant tissue.

"It attacks the roots of plants and causes them to rot and die quickly as they are unable to take up water and nutrients," she said.

"It can be initially difficult to detect dieback as the appearance of infected plants can be similar to drought. Once plants and soil are infected, the disease can be treated but not cured."

Dieback is spread via water, soil, and root-to-root contact between plants. 

Infected soil is easily spread by human activity via muddy shoes, vehicles, earthworks, and equipment. 

There are several things you can do if you suspect dieback is present on your property:

• Limit the spread of soil and water to uninfected areas by ensuring all equipment, vehicles and shoes are clean before entering and leaving infected areas.

• Minimising earthworks and soil disturbance (soles of shoes can be disinfected with 70% methylated spirits).

Protect trees and shrubs from Phytophthora dieback using phosphite (a biodegradable fungicide that boosts plants natural defences against the pathogen) as an injection into trees, or foliar spray.

Watch the team's other environmental videos and 'What to do about Dieback' on the Shire's Facebook page @ShireofMundaring or visit the Environment section of the Shire's website www.mundaring.wa.gov.au

For more information, contact the Shire's Environment and Sustainability team on 9290 6651 or email environment@mundaring.wa.gov.au. 

 




5/05/2021
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