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Friday, 13 May 2022

Quarantine Area for Borer Expanded to Support Surveillance

The Quarantine Area (QA) for exotic pest Polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB) has been expanded to support the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) ongoing surveillance program to determine the spread of the pest.
 
A new Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) came into effect today and now covers 21 local government areas. The new areas added to the expanded QAN are the City of Bayswater, City of Belmont, Town of Bassendean and three localities in the City of Swan – South Guildford, Guildford and Caversham.
 
The QAN continues to apply to the local government areas of Cambridge, Canning, Claremont, Cockburn, Cottesloe, East Fremantle, Fremantle, Melville, Mosman Park, Nedlands, Peppermint Grove, Perth, South Perth, Stirling, Subiaco, Victoria Park and Vincent.

Map showing quarantine area
 
The new QAN replaces the previous notice and will remain in place for six months.
 
Department chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said it was important all residents now located within the expanded QA are aware of the restrictions on the movement of wood and green waste from their properties as they could act as hosts and potentially spread the borer.
 
“The department is working directly with impacted local governments to provide them with information on the borer and on the movement restrictions to help them to support residents,” Dr Broughton said.

“Residents cannot remove any bark, potted plants, firewood, tree prunings, logs, plant cuttings, mulch, timber, wood or wood chips above a certain size outside of the QA.

“Wood that has been chipped into pieces that are less than 2.5cm diameter in size can be moved out of the QA.
“All other wood (greater than 2.5cm) and plants with woody stems greater than 2cm can only be moved out of the QA under a permit issued by the department.

“Any gardening machinery or equipment used for tree lopping, gardening, mulching, wood chipping or handling green waste must not be moved outside of the Quarantine Area unless it has been cleaned of all green waste material.”

“PSHB does not affect grass, so lawn clippings can be disposed of as normal.

“No permit is required to dispose of green waste from a property located in the QA if the green waste disposal site is also located in the QA.

“If residents are unsure about green waste disposal, they should check with their local council.”

DPIRD officers are continuing to undertake surveillance for the borer in areas where it has been detected and areas where it has not been found to determine the extent of spread.
 
The invasive wood borer can severely damage host trees, with some species dying within two years of infestation.
 
The box elder maple tree (Acer negundo) has been identified as the main host for the PSHB in Western Australia. Beetle numbers are able to rapidly increase in this host.
 
Dr Broughton reiterated that we still need people to be checking their trees and plants and reporting any unusual symptoms such as multiple entrance holes on the trunk or branches that are approximately the size of a ballpoint pen tip, frass extruding from the tree and crystalline foam (sugar volcanoes) exuded from the entry holes.
 
“Other signs to look out for are thick resin or sap on the tree branches or trunk, dark brown to black staining of the wood around entrance holes, and dying branches and tree death,” she said.
 
“Reports from all areas help to provide valuable data to inform future actions.”
A map of the Quarantine Area, list of tree hosts and more advice to residents is available on the department website agric.wa.gov.au/borer

Residents who suspect they have borer damage to trees should make a report to the department through the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080 or via the department’s MyPestGuide™ Reporter app (Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store), or email padis@dpird.wa.gov.au.
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