Myrtle rust

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Myrtle rust

Postby Sno » July 4th, 2018, 7:14 pm

I have been trying to find information on myrtle rust .Specifically its environment , it's life cycle and what to look for in its early stages . I have some trees that are not in the myrtaceae family but that came from an area that has known cases of the rust and I am unsure if I have inadvertently brought it onto my property . I haven't seen any sign of the rust .
So how long is the life cycle ? I've had the trees since March should I have noticed something by now ? Are the spores dormant until the right conditions ? Are they cold tolerant ? Ie -5 temps ? Or anything else that I haven't asked that may be relevant ?
Cheers Sno
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby no idea » July 4th, 2018, 7:52 pm

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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby Sno » July 4th, 2018, 8:53 pm

Thanks for that ' No Idea ' ,i have looked at that before and it's my main reason for asking these questions . The study from what I can see focuses on optimum conditions . I was wondering if we had information on the boundaries . Ie has it been found in say the Canberra region and survived , flourished through a winter ? Is it more to do with humidity than temperature ? Can it survive a drought with out been reintroduced ? Can it stay dormant i.e. can the life cycle survive longer than 3 weeks before the first symptoms ? The information that I have seen states it's native to South America but doesn't mention climate zones . It's in New Zealand but I can't find if it is in the more colder climes . For a national disaster I think we are being a bit complacent .
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby terryb » July 4th, 2018, 10:57 pm

Hi Sno,

This more recent report is far more comprehensive http://www.pbcrc.com.au/sites/default/f ... 202017.pdf

See also http://www.pbcrc.com.au/news/2016/pbcrc ... industries for a distribution map

Hope it helps
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby dansai » July 5th, 2018, 6:56 am

I live on the Mid North Coast of NSW, about 1/2 south of Coffs Harbour and under 10 ks from the coast. I first observed Myrtle Rust in my nursery in 2011/12 during a very wet period of over 3 years. I destroyed some plants, but held on to a potted Backhousia anisata (Aniseed Myrtle) that I liked the trunk on. I also observed it on a Backhousia citriodora (Lemon Myrtle) planted on my property, a Syzigium jambos on a property close by that was very heavily infected and on Melaleuca quinquenervia trees by the beach.

Other than this year, the previous 4 years has been very dry and warm. The grass actually turned brown here :o During this time I have not observed myrtle rust at all. Both my Backhousia's are doing fine. This year has been a little wetter, although nothing on 2010 - 13, with more cloud cover this winter than the last 3-4 years so I'll be interested to see if it pops up again.

I know this is not answering your questions no, but may help to get a bit of a better picture. I know areas of the central coast seem to cop it pretty badly. Rory struggled with it for years and I think now just avoids susceptible species. Hugh Grant also struggles with it. But then he grows lots of Myrtaceae and his garden is by a damp gully. Be interesting if he has noticed changes over time??
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby Rory » July 5th, 2018, 9:33 am

Oh Sno. I didn't even think of that :palm: Forgive me. Casuarina aren't affected, but not sure if there were spores from our area.

What dansai said is spot on.

I spray with triforine, which kills the myrtle rust dead. However, because myrtle rust is now endemic on the central coast. It just comes back routinely. Spraying simply kills the infection on a particular area.

If you notice a tree that has a problem in the myrtacea family, move it to the sunniest, windiest (open) position. Myrtle Rust thrives in damp, cool areas with minimal sun.
For some species its really bad, but on the whole I have only ever lost 1 Mels/Eucs/Leptos solely to Myrtle Rust. Being eaten by fauna combined with myrtle rust has killed them yes. However I have 2 exact species of Eucalyptus curtisii and identical Leptospermum that were grown apart. The ones that were in an open sunny area have never been affected by the rust, ever. The ones growing in the opposite, sheltered and less sunny areas are affected by it.

The only species which never overcame the myrtle rust was Eucalyptus nicholii

Knowing what I know now, I ensure the area is completely open and allowing for maximum sun penetration.
We get heavy due and heavy fog nearly every morning where we are, but I have won the battle with myrtle rust by keeping the area open and sunny.
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby Sno » July 5th, 2018, 9:39 am

Thanks Terry that's what I was looking for .

Hi Dansai .i hope you and your dad are well . It's interesting that you haven't noticed it in your nursery through the drier years .when you mention the Backhousia anisata did you treat or did it recover on its own ?
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby Sno » July 5th, 2018, 10:03 am

Hi Rory . It's all good .i didn't think of it either untill later . I haven't noticed anything . I always keep new trees away in an area for a while anyway as a precaution against bugs and disease . The casuarina look healthy even in the dark of winter . I think they are great and I'm looking forward to playing with them . If it's going to get here it will in time anyway because there is so much stuff moving around the country . I just got a load of fire wood delivered today and the spores could be on that .
In our area ( the Monaro ) there are large areas of dead Manna gum trees which is not from mrtyle rust ,which we are not exactly sure why they died . The common theory is a weevil caused it .
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby dansai » July 5th, 2018, 7:59 pm

No treatment on the Backhousia. Maybe Rory is on to something with his good sun and fresh air. I was studying at TAFE when I noticed it and one of the teachers who worked with farmers was commenting on the low sun shine hours we had been having due to regular cloud cover. That coupled with regular rain, floods and associated dampness would definitely give the conditions that I understand it too thrive in.

As a side, and maybe related, we definitely haven't had the mosquitoes in the last few years that we had during those wetter times. And thats with a fairly dank dam close by. Although we have had micro bats around too, which I have heard varying reports of them eating from 500 to 1500 mosquitoes a night!
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby no idea » July 5th, 2018, 9:19 pm

i hope Gardening Australia do a story, this is very perplexing to say the least. Thankyou Sno for bringing it to our attention :(
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Re: Myrtle rust

Postby dansai » July 5th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Looks like they did 7 years ago

http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factshe ... st/9432386

One of the things mentioned in one of the above articles is that Myrtle rust was talked about a lot when first detected, but has since fallen from view.
Last edited by dansai on July 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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