Over the last few years the leyland cypress shelter belt behind my home has become a motley collection of browns, rust and skeletonised branches and twigs.
If you drive around Tauranga you’ll see that I haven’t been selected for this contemporary plague – there are examples of this tree disease all over the place. Years ago I was aware of Dutch Elm disease. I read of disease and dieback in other European trees. Nothing is sacred or immune and the hideous quotation “a virus can bring down the tallest tree in the forest” also applies to New Zealand Kauri.
It’s been in Northland for some years and is now creeping down the island – they’ve closed the Whangapoua Forest on the Coromandel. No doubt disease resistant specimans of Kauri will be found but for me the question is what is happening or what are we doing that is encouraging trees that have lived here for thousands of years to suddenly want to succumb? A world without bees and now a world without trees?