TPCP team members visit plantations on the KZN coast 2020-10-26
Some of the most impressive, and in fact some of the earliest, clonal eucalypt plantations can be found on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast of South Africa. The Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) based at FABI, University of Pretoria, has worked with the forestry industry since the first of these plantations were established in this area some 35 years ago. And with industry partners, the TPCP team has worked actively to identify and help manage many pest and disease problems that have emerged over this period. These include the first outbreaks of Cryphonectria canker (Chrysoporthe austroafricana), Coniothyrium canker (Teratosphaeria zuluensis), the eucalyptus gall wasp (Leptocybe invasa) and numerous others. Members of the TPCP team including Prof. Irene Barnes, Prof. Mike Wingfield, Dr Hiroyuki Suzuki and Ms Kira Lynn visited colleagues in Sappi, Mondi and members of the NCT forestry co-operative during the week of 19 October to inspect various pest and disease problems - some newly emerging such as Ceratocystis wilt (Ceratocystis manginecans) and the lerp psyllid (Spondaliaspis plicatuloides) as well as others well-established including Destructans leaf and shoot blight (Teratosphaeria destructans) and Cryphonectria canker. Many of these and other pest/disease problems form parts of student and research associate projects. Thus, Kira was able to collect important samples of Ceratocystis and Hiroyuki to see a newly emerging Cryphonectria problem and to collect samples for his study. The team enjoyed time with colleagues including Prof. Jolanda Roux (Sappi), Ben Pienaar and Izette Greyling (Mondi), Mike Howard and William Davidson (NCT) as well as members of their teams.