9 Apr 2011

Moriori tree carvings under threat

6:08 am on 9 April 2011

Ways to save rare Moriori-carved trees from a fungus on the Chatham Islands, are being looked-at.

The Department of Conservation says it's working with the University of Otago, Hokotehi Moriori Trust and the Historic Places Trust to remove some of the dead trees to preserve the carvings and save the remaining trees.

The university says the number of carved kopi (karaka) trees on the Chathams has dropped from about 200 in the 1960s to 63 last year.

DoC says it's looking at proposals from the university to increase shelter-belts and use fertiliser on the remaining trees, to promote vigour and delay the onset of deterioration caused by the honeydew fungus.