Fan Worm Found in Tauranga Harbour

Fanworm has been discovered in Tauranga Harbour, alarming boaties and prompting action.

See the TVNZ story.


Porn kingpin takes aim at marine pests

He's known for putting boobs and bikes on Kiwi streets, but now porn kingpin Steve Crow is on a new crusade - ridding New Zealand harbours of invasive pests.

Read more.........


New Wilding Conifer and Woody Weed Control Solution a big success. Advertisement


Basal bark treatment is a very cost effective method of controlling Wilding Conifers and Woody Weeds. X-Tree Basal is a ready to use, stable, low toxicity, convenient basal bark pre-mixture that   has been used for 12 months in NZ and is resulting in excellent wilding conifer and woody weed control . X-tree is used to chemically ring bark unwanted woody weeds.

Applying herbicides in any natural environment needs careful management to reduce any off target damage to native vegetation or contamination of waterways. X-Tree Basal’s formulation contains the active ingredient Triclopyr which is short-lived and has low environmental impact. The carrier oil is bio-diesel and it contains a unique penetrant system to ensure penetration of the bark of the target weeds.

The basal bark method ensures off target environmental damage potential is minimised because the tree trunks get treated with a fine braided trickle flow that can be accurately aimed to encircle the trunk. A little X-Tree goes a long way, making for a very cost effective solution.

The product is very versatile and, whilst being a highly efficient wilding conifer solution, it is an ideal product for every farmer to have in his shed for spot treatment and control of isolated gorse and other woody weeds. It can also be used by Regional Councils, contractors and forestry companies who might want to thin or remove unwanted tree and woody weed species from plantations or other areas.

Most wilding pine species are controlled with X-Tree Basal.   Basal bark tree treatments are also effective on other unwanted tree and shrub species including Alders, Briars, Buddleia, Blackberry, Gorse, Hawthorn, Holly, Poplars, Rowan, Wattles, Willows and Woolly Nightshade. There are a few other species like Cotoneaster that may require a second treatment of X-Tree Basal for the control of surviving plants from the initial treatment.

Ground-based basal bark treatments are applied by knapsack, with a lance which has a single hollow cone nozzle. The base of a wilding tree is treated at a low pressure with the bark being completely circled around the tree (ring barked). As a general rule, the height that needs to be treated is at least twice to three times that of the diameter of the trunk. X-Tree Basal works consistently on smaller trees with trunk diameters up to 30cm diameter. However, for larger trees with thicker bark the trunk needs to be treated from the base up to two metres from the ground and may need retreatment depending on the species.  

Rhys Barrier from Fish and Game Nelson was involved in treating crack willow trees in the Marlborough Para wetlands with X -Tree Basal in February this year. By mid April these trees were dying with all the foliage black and shrivelled. Rhys’ comments on X-Tree Basal treating trees was that it was at least twice as fast as the cut and paste or drilling and filling methods they have previously used. He said he was very impressed at how rapid X-Tree Basal killed these problem trees and another advantage was that it could be applied to trees all year round where other treatments had to be applied in spring.

Cut-stump method X-Tree Basal can also be used as a ‘Cut Stump Treatment’ when wilding trees are removed by chainsaw or a cutting bar. It is applied around the stump face edges and down the remaining bark area to ground level, to ensure there is no re-growth.

Aerial basal bark method Aerial basal bark applications (ABBA) by helicopter with a hand held lance out the door has also been successful and is ideal where access is dangerous and difficult. Specialist operators should be used for this task.

Phil Packham, (helicopter pilot from Amuri Helicopters in Hanmer Springs) has been using X-Tree Basal for ABBA Wilding Pine control operations this year. His first application was in January on Douglas Fir, Pinus contorta and Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) wilding trees that were 3 – 4 metres high. As of May this year, Phil is pleased to report that they are all dead.

Phil also applied another ABBA earlier this year at Mt Thomas in Canterbury and the wildings are quickly dying off. Phil stated that X-Tree Basal odour is more tolerable than diesel based basal bark mixtures, which have an odour which is quite nauseous. Another positive aspect of X-Tree Basal he likes is its stability, which doesn’t require constant shaking to stop it separating. This was a problem he had with previous diesel based basal bark treatments.

In conclusion, X-Tree Basal has been nicknamed ‘ The X-Treeminator’ as it is rapidly earning a growing reputation as the ‘go to’ product for Woody Tree control.

X-Tree Basal is available nationally from PGGWrightson Ltd. and selected rural re-sellers.

For more information on X-Tree Basal go to and download the X-Tree Basal


TechNote or contact Etec Crop Solutions Ltd on 09-574 5401


Urban Possum

A polar blast earlier this year could be the reason a possum made a rare daytime appearance in the central city. A visitor went to see the quake-damaged Christchurch Town Hall when he saw what he thought was a cat in a nearby tree. “I soon realised to my amazement it was a possum,” he said. Landcare Research pest control scientist Janine Duckworth said though possums were not new to the central city, it was rare to see one during the day.

Adapted from a snippet in The Christchurch Press, June 25, 2013


Gorse of the Sea:

The ecology and impact of the invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida in the Hauraki Gulf

By Kate James, PhD Candidate, Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland

Undaria pinnatifida is an edible kelp species native to the Japan Sea. In its native range it is commercially grown to produce popular sea vegetable products known as Wakame. Undaria has become established in ten countries outside its native range and has been nominated as one of the one hundred “World’s Worst Invaders” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature [IUCN]. Undaria has also been named one of the most hazardous seaweeds in Europe and dubbed “the gorse of the sea” here in New Zealand. Since its detection in Wellington in the late 1980s Undaria has become an invasive pest around much of our southern coastlines. Undaria is classified as an Unwanted Organism in New Zealand and is currently the subject of local (experimental) eradication programmes in Fiordland and on the Chatham Islands.

Undaria is a highly adaptable and plastic species which can tolerate a wide set of environmental conditions. It behaves as an opportunistic weed and can rapidly colonise new or disturbed substrata and artificial floating structures such as marinas and marine farms. Undaria is highly fecund, has a fast growth rate and (in New Zealand) multiple reproductive cohorts per year. Undaria can displace and dominate native marine flora during the peak of its growth season. Changes in native community dynamics and trophic food webs occur when native seaweeds are replaced by Undaria and when dense patches of Undaria establish in areas previously devoid of large seaweeds. Undaria can disrupt aquaculture activities and can affect the cultural and recreational (including tourism) values of marine sites. Despite its invasive traits and a desire to keep Undaria out of “high value” marine sites in New Zealand the Ministry of Primary Industries, in 2012, announced three “heavily infested” sites around the South Island where farming of Undaria is to be allowed.

The warmer waters around the upper North Island were thought to be outside the optimal range for Undaria colonisation. But in 2002 Undaria was discovered on mussel farms in the Firth of Thames, in 2004 it was found at Westhaven Marina in the Waitemata Harbour and it has since become well established on both natural and artificial substrata around the Hauraki Gulf. This could mean Undaria farming will be permitted in the Hauraki Gulf in the future.

My work aims to provide a description of the temporal and spatial distribution of Undaria in the Hauraki Gulf as well as gain an understanding of the ecological impacts of its establishment in this warmer region. My survey work has begun to classify the habitats in which Undaria occurs, determine the extent to which Undaria is spreading into natural reef systems (often from mussel farms) and identify the potentially important environmental factors influencing its distribution and spread in the Hauraki Gulf. Undaria population monitoring has been underway since mid-2011 at Westhaven Marina and in the Coromandel Harbour, these studies provide information on the life and reproductive cycles of Undaria on both artificial and natural habitats in this region. Undaria population structure and growth data will be related to local sea surface temperature and seawater nutrient content information and will help identify sites likely to be at risk of Undaria infestation and the potential extent of impacts on ecological and environmental values.

Data on the distribution and biology of Undaria in the Hauraki Gulf is vital if we are to keep marine reserves and conservation sites free of Undaria. This information can also be used to inform policy around the possible commercial farming of Undaria in this region.

I have prepared a report for the Waikato Regional Council which includes some preliminary findings from my work in the Hauraki Gulf. This can be found at:

General information on Undaria can be found on the New Zealand biosecurity website: or on the Global Invasive Species Database at:

Please feel free to contact me for more information on my work or if you have any information on locations where Undaria is growing in the Hauraki Gulf or further north in New Zealand.

Kate James | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 0212406442

Thank-you to the Waikato Regional Council and the Auckland Council for supporting this research.



Page 8 of 22