Pandanus trees sadly infected with root rot

Published on 21 February 2022

The dead and dying pandanus trees in crescent head

A number of pandanus trees in Crescent Head along with surrounding soil will sadly need to be removed after test results confirmed they are either dead or dying of root rot.

Results have confirmed that a natural pathogen is responsible for the deteriorating condition of some pandanus trees along Crescent Head’s foreshore.

In October 2021, Kempsey Shire Council sent samples to the NSW Royal Botanical Gardens for testing to determine the cause of stress and dieback seen in some pandanus trees along the foreshore.

The results revealed the trees as well as the soil are infected with a natural pathogen called Phytopythium vexans, causing root rot in several trees. Some infected trees have died, and others are becoming very ill.

The cause of infection is difficult to determine as there are many reasons this could have occurred.

To treat and rehabilitate the area, unfortunately, Council will have to remove the infected trees as well as the soil. Council staff will improve soil drainage and increase the amount of organic composting and mulch to limit the chance of reinfection.

Part of the Crescent Head Master Plan will be replanting these iconic species along the foreshore, in suitable locations to make sure they remain healthy. 

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