News & Media

Quarantine Area for borer expanded to support surveillance

Released on

Released on:
Tuesday, 16. November 2021 - 11:00

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 17 local government areas, including Cambridge, Canning, Claremont, Cockburn, Cottesloe, East Fremantle, Fremantle, Melville, Mosman Park, Nedlands, Peppermint Grove, Perth, South Perth, Stirling, Subiaco, Victoria Park and Vincent.

This replaces the original QAN from 24 September 2021 but still applies to parts of the suburbs of Fremantle, East Fremantle, North Fremantle, Palmyra and Bicton and includes new movement requirements.

Department Chief Plant Biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said it was important all residents now located within the expanded QA were 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 2.5 centimetres 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 QA unless it has been cleaned of all green waste material.

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

Dr Broughton said green waste was no longer required to be disposed of through council collections only.

“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,” she said.

“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 borer attacks a wide range of trees. The five most important trees to check are maple, willow, plane, coral tree and avocado.

Dr Broughton said it was important for residents and businesses to continue check their trees and plants and to report any unusual symptoms to DPIRD to help provide valuable data to inform future actions.

“Look for 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,” she said.

“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.”

A map of the Quarantine Area, list of tree hosts and more advice to residents is available here.

The Quarantine Area will remain in place initially for six months.

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

A map of 17 local government areas.

Media contact:

Katrina Bowers/Megan Broad, media liaison                                    

+61 (0)8 9368 3937