Some of Brisbane’s oldest trees have been destroyed by a fungus. Council officers have discovered infected trees throughout the city, including jacaranda and fig trees in the City Botanic Gardens and New Farm Park.
A City Hall report reveals that the fungus “phellinus noxius” is not soil-based but invades roots directly from woody stump material. Inspectors cannot identify potential troubles pots and trees become more at risk the older they get.
The disease begins to show with dieback in the canopy and its fatal hold is completed when the tree base is covered with the fungus. A large weeping fig was removed from Herschel St in Brisbane’s CBD last month and a root barrier erected around an old fig in the Botanic Gardens to save an adjacent row of figs. The fungus recently was found in fig trees in Sandgate and Shorncliffe, in northeast Brisbane, indicating it could be spread by animals, birds, wind and water.
“(The fungus) might be confined to certain areas but we do not really know, we do not really know that much about it,” a spokesman said. The council has allocated $130,000 to fight the fungus.