Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa ) health and phenology in relation to possums (Trichosurus vulpecula ) and other damaging agents

The effect of possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) and insects and disease on the canopy development of pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) was studied from 5 May 1989 to 18 April 1991 at Homunga Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Possums were the only threat to established trees through damage to foliage and vegetative buds. Most insect damage was caused by the weevil Neomycta rubida, and some wilting may have been caused by the fungus Dothiorella. The study also showed that regeneration was rare; this was attributed to the presence of feral goats, and domestic sheep and cattle. It is recommended that possum control should be carried out in late winter so as to protect new vegetative buds, and that fencing to keep out domestic stock should be done where possible.

Author G. Hosking and J. Hutcheson
Year 1993
Secondary title New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science
Volume 23
Number 1
Pages 49-61