25 Aug 2012

Tree-killing disease in Nelson

7:27 am on 25 August 2012

Apple growers in the Nelson region are fighting to control a fungal disease that they say has the potential to be as destructive as PSA in kiwifruit.

European canker, a tree-killing disease, has existed in pipfruit orchards in Nelson and elsewhere for a long time. But Country Life reports a run of wetter than normal seasons has sent infection rates sky-rocketing in Nelson, especially in the Riwaka area.

Newer apple varieties such as Jazz, Envy and new royal gala strains have been hit.

Motueka Fruitgrowers Association chair Simon Easton says growers have been forced to cut thousands of trees and take other aggressive control measures.