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Byron Shire
April 10, 2021

Sick pines need care

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I believe it’s the lichen, sucking the sap. The solution is to get rid of the lichen, feed the roots or somehow give them a birthday. A tree doctor should be consulted.

One wonders if the council wait till they are dead and then incur the huge bill of removing them, or act now before it’s too late. Almost too late already. Or wait till they start dropping branches and then have endless meetings re the subject.

Probably the latter. Trouble is we have to pay for it. Act now, I say.

Philip Sedgman, Mullumbimby


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  1. The pines were battered by the severe hail storms of October and November last year, losing much of their south-western foliage. Shirley St was thick with broken foliage and branches after the November event and many of the exposed limbs and trunks suffered tissue damage affecting the soft tissue beneath the bark.

    from the Northern Star, March 24:
    ” Byron Shire Council’s parks superintendent, Andy Erskine, said the hail storm last November had taken its toll on Byron Bay’s Norfolk Island Pines in Apex Park and on Shirley Street.

    He said staff had been monitoring the trees, and an independent arborist inspected the trees.

    “The arborist found that the damage was consistent with hail damage with foliage being knocked off the trees and soft tissue damage on young branches,” he said.

    “However, there are new shoots starting to appear and staff have applied liquid fertiliser and a soil wetting agent to encourage further new growth.”

    Mr Erskine said one of the trees had borers and the top 5-10m of the tree will be removed. “

  2. For the record – “Lichens are associations of a fungus and an algae or bacterium that can produce food for the fungus. Usually the Lichens are green colored and growing on the bark of a tree, or sometimes surrounding rocks and soil. Lichens are not harmful to trees” (Wolf Tree Services, 2014). They most certainly do not “suck sap””.

    Hail damage is known to increase the potential for fungal attack on damaged vegetation and I am sure that Byron Shires very competent Andy Erskine has checked this out.
    Can I suggest Phil that you check out the facts before putting forward erroneous theories?


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