Myrtle Rust (uredo rangelii) is an exotic plant pest in Australia that affects plants in the Myrtaceae family. To date, Myrtle Rust has been found within the Central Coast region of NSW on: Agonis flexuosa (Willow Myrtle cv Afterdark and Burgundy), Callistemon viminalis (Bottle Brush), Leptospermum rotundifolium (Tea Tree), Syncarpia glomulifera (Turpentine), Syzygium leuhmanni x Syzygium wilsonii (Lilly Pilly) and Tristania species (Brush Box).
Myrtle Rust can infect leaves of susceptible host range plants producing spore-filled lesions on young actively growing leaves and shoots as well as on fruit and sepals. Rust spores can travel long distances on the wind and may infect susceptible plants many kilometres from the original infestation. Rust spores can be gathered and spread by bees. People can spread Myrtle Rust by the movement of infected plant material or by coming into contact via clothing, dirty equipment and contaminated timber products.
What can you do to minimise your risk?
Biosecurity is the protection from risks through actions such as exclusion, eradication, management and control. Effective industry Biosecurity is a shared responsibility involving governments, industry and the general community.
- Consider implementing routine practices for your business?
- Become aware and familiar with the symptoms of Myrtle Rust – refer to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/plant/myrtle-rust
- Undertake weekly monitoring/surveillance of host plants (commercial and property plants) for Myrtle Rust looking in warm moist environments which favour the fungus.
- Subscribe to the Industry & Investment NSW Myrtle Rust weekly updates website above Develop and practice good hygiene for people and equipment on the property – refer to www.ngia.com.au/Story?Action=View&Story_id=1205 and www.ngia.com.au/Story?Action=View&Story_id=1269
- Provide a designated visitor area and opportunity to decontaminate workers, visitors,vehicles, raw material and equipment using disinfecting products and procedures, ie change and launder clothing when entering or leaving another property. Use clean, pest-free and preferably certified nursery inputs from NIASA businesses and inspect inputs on arrival and monitor their performance. http://permits.apvma.gov.au/PER12319.PDF
- Report anything unusual to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline – 1800 084 881.
- For more information on good hygiene practices for nurseries or general information contact:
Michael Danelon – Industry Development Officer NGINA, ph 02 9679 1472.