Cotton Trees

Dieback is rampant in our pandanus

Dieback is rampant in our pandanus

Where’s our view?

If you walk out to the Rainbow Beach lookout – you may notice two things… pandanus trees are dying whilst the cotton trees grow unchecked, obscuring the view.

We mentioned last month that council advised the pruning of the “second tier” of cotton tree would occur after the Spring holidays.

It is an issue that Cr Mark McDonald said was fought very hard over the last few years. He assures the community that the beautiful view from Fraser Island to Double Island Point will be restored.

He said council was given the necessary approval to maintain the cottontree to a level of 1.6m, as it regenerates very quickly. He will be discussing this matter further with the Acting Mayor and council staff to provide a swift outcome.

The news is not so good for our failing pandanus trees.

Council have advised that pandanus dieback is a disease found in the pandanus trees (Pandanus tectorius) caused by an infestation of planthopper insects (Jamella australiae). The Jamella insects eat the new growing shoots of the pandanus trees and lay their eggs in the foliage. The new larvae emerge form their eggs and suck the sap from the leaves as well.

Council has treated the trees in the Rainbow Beach foreshore area using tree injection and depending on the size of the Pandanus there were up to three injections per plant. An insecticide was injected by drilling a hole 0.5mm in diameter and ten cm deep and applied 5ml of mixed chemical per hole. Once injected the holes are plugged.

Unfortunately, there was already severe damage so recovery may be slow and many may still not survive. This has been an issue all up the coast and has resulted in a lot of losses of Pandanus due to this insect.

A reinspection in December will see how successful the treatment was and also if there is still any signs of re-infestation.

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