Council monitoring iconic tree

Pahi’s historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree in December 2017 with impacted foliage due to a psyllid infestation

The Kaipara District Council has undertaken inspections of the protected Moreton Bay Fig tree in Pahi and is monitoring its health.

The tree which is believed to have been planted circa 1860s, in the early pioneer days, has been infested with a pest called Fig psyllid (mycopsylla fici), which has impacted the foliage.

An initial inspection was done in December 2017 along with soil tests, which found the pH level was high for this species making it more susceptible to infestations.

Arborlab spokesperson Jon Redfern inspected the tree this year and advised the council to add some sulphur to the soil, which could bring down the pH levels. 

“The best course of action would be to keep the moisture levels up and adding a chelated form of the deficient micronutrients such as manganese and zinc, and a good covering of quality high fungal compost.

“There is significantly less sign of psyllids on the leaves now, and a new flush of growth has developed throughout the canopy.” KDC parks officer Mike Collins says the progress is due to regular watering, and heavy mulching to help the tree fight the psyllids.

The parks team will conduct regular inspections of the tree and hope to see a marked improvement again in the next month.

The tree’s protection is listed in the Kaipara District Plan and KDC has a covenant over the tree.


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