Optimism about Norfolk Island Pines 1.4.2011


This is a photo taken a year ago in Linwood that shows the poor state of the Norfolk Island pines.They’re worse today.

These were in the news this week because the cause of the decline in the trees’ health has been revealed:

‘Soil testing carried out by the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney has found high levels of minerals in the soil, particularly zinc, that could be contributing to their plight. But more worrying is the presence of phytophthora, whose name means “the plant destroyer”.

The trees have been there for 20 to 30 years.’

30 years is ridiculous: I would suggest someone in arboriculture phone someone in assets in council so they could find out exactly how long the trees have been there. I can recall friends wanting to move there well under twenty years ago. The realignment of Hannell Street was apparently complete in 1994 so presumably the trees went in after that.  

Parallel to the row of poor pines are Hill’s figs. Old faithfuls, doing very nicely thank you very much.

It amazes me that we haven’t just ripped out the pine trees, and it’s wonderful to see so much optimism that we keep what look like dead trees to try to bring them back to life…

We’re still so lucky here. This is no Emerald Ash Borer or Dutch Elm disease.

There’s a beautiful picture of the terrible EAB here  in a story about the resources Toronto in Canada is going to have to put into dealing with the threat this insect poses.

Phyophthora cinnamomi is thought to have been introduced by Europeans in the 1800s and affects huge areas of the country. A Victorian Phytophthora strategy paper (1.4MB) mentions the effects this mould has on habitat loss across the country and the results this can have for many vulnerable species; climate change is expected to make the problem more widespread as heat and humidity favour its spread.

Our little strip of pines is a tiny problem in comparison. Maybe we could replace them with pears or magnolias.

I’m kidding.



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