New tool to tackle south-eastern tree pest
18 July 2018
Finding the best way to reduce the spread of giant pine scale is now a click away with the release of a new video aimed at assisting gardeners, property owners and arborists in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs to manage the pest.
First discovered in Victoria in 2014, giant pine scale is a tiny scale insect that sucks the sap of pine, fir and spruce trees, sometimes killing the tree.
Victoria’s Acting Chief Plant Health Officer, Nigel Ainsworth, said giant pine scale posed a threat to parks, forests and softwood plantations, and there were more than 4,300 trees on 162 properties affected properties in the local government areas of Monash, Casey, Yarra Ranges, Cardinia, Kingston, Greater Dandenong and the Mornington Peninsula.
“Tree removal is the only effective way to control giant pine scale but this can be distressing for property owners,” Dr Ainsworth said.
“This new video provides alternative solutions to tree removal and practical gardening and equipment hygiene tips that residents and arborists can follow to avoid spreading the insect further,” he said.
“Although it isn’t feasible to eradicate giant pine scale, we really want people working with trees to use these online resources to familiarise themselves with the pest and its management.
“We’re also working with the forestry industry to conduct research into possible control options for this tree pest, but this is a long-term project.”
Dr Ainsworth said Agriculture Victoria was continuing to work with affected residents, council and industry to increase awareness of the insect to minimise its spread.
“Agriculture Victoria is very keen to hear from people who live outside of the affected area who suspect they might have giant pine scale in their trees,” he said.
“Any sightings of white, cotton-wool like wax on the trunk or branches of pine, spruce or fir trees outside of the areas currently affected should be reported to Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or online at www.vic.gov.au/giantpinescale.”
The new video, an eLearning module and information about giant pine scale can be found at www.vic.gov.au/giantpinescale
Categorised under: Biosecurity