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29 September 2003
Dutch Elm Disease is killing elm trees in Murvale Reserve, Pakuranga and Council says it is imperative that the trees be removed before the disease becomes widespread.
Studies indicate that 32 large trees and 117 smaller trees will need to be removed before the beetle that carries the disease hatches and spreads.
Manager Clean Environment Mohammad Hassan says the disease has the potential to wipe out all elm trees in New Zealand if not eradicated quickly.
"We are working with MAF to get the necessary requirements to rid the reserve of infected Elms. Part of this work will be ensuring that the surrounding native and exotic trees will be protected," said Mr Hassan.
Once the elms have been removed the wood and bark will be chipped and composted to ensure the beetle and larvae are killed.
Dutch Elm disease only affects elm trees. There are approximately 6500 elm trees in Manukau City.
Mr Hassan says that bio security issues have risen sharply over the last few years and Council will need to seriously consider how to manage and resource it responses to 'outbreaks' as they arise.
Removing the trees from Murvale Reserve is expected to take two weeks beginning mid November 2003.
For more information about Dutch Elm disease visit www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests-diseases/forests/dutch-elm-disease
Madeleine Setchell Senior Communications Adviser MAF Communications Tel 04 470 27 53 Mobile 027 435 35 75