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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 7-12

Forest efficacy trials on phosphite for control of kauri dieback

I.J. Horner, E.G. Hough and M.B. Horner


In 2012, trials were established in four kauri forest sites severely affected by kauri dieback (Phytophthora agathidicida = P. taxon Agathis, PTA) to determine the potential of phosphorous acid (phosphite) as a control tool. Baseline assessments of 162 trial trees included canopy disease rating, trunk lesion dimensions and lesion activity (recent bleeding/ 20-cm intervals around the trunk. Control trees were left untreated. After 1 year, half the previously injected trees were re-injected, in all cases with 7.5% phosphite. Phytotoxicity symptoms (leaf yellowing, browning or leaf/twig abscission) were noted in some phosphiteinjected trees, particularly where the 20% concentration was used. After 3 years, many more trunk lesions remained active (expressing ooze, continued expansion) in untreated trees (58.5%) than in phosphite-treated trees (0.8%). Average lesion expansion after 3 years was 12.7 cm in untreated and 0.4 cm in phosphite-treated trees.

Keywords: Phytophthora agathidicida, PTA, kauri, Agathis australis, control.

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