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Latest weeding bee achievements

Tinopai – small steps, large achievement!

Sunday 6th September’s weeding bee at last realised a major achievement on one property: a significant step towards our goal of clearing ginger in our area.

Working down from Shirley’s property at the corner of South Titirangi Road, the ginger team worked up and down a track the family had used many years ago that encircles the property in the general direction of Tinopai Road. As usual, what at first appeared to be a relatively small ginger problem revealed itself in reality as an extended area of plants 10’ – 12’ high, on a very steep slope. Anja, Richard, Connor and Sharen conducted a full scale assault on the plants with Escort and Cut ‘n Paste. The steep slope was intimidating and after starting with the ginger team, Rhys and Kasim decided to join the team on the lower terrain.

There was plenty of climbing asparagus, agapanthus, pampas and even more climbing asparagus to keep Clair and Rhyll leading the second team who were busy working up the site from below. Theirs is the work you can see from the roadside. We are hoping Auckland Council contractors will be able to get in and finish it off.

Our team were limited to a total of ten because of covid restrictions and everyone was required to sign in. Caroline Bensinger ensured everyone had signed in, and although unable to clamber the slopes she also, soon joined the second team doing an excellent job of beheading the agapanthus seed heads.

When it was time to finish, the ginger team announced they had cut n pasted all the plants on the site. Ample cause for celebration: – our first property where we have been able to make that claim!

Our AC Kauri talk

We then retired to Anja’s for a cup of tea and cakes, and Zacc Forbes-Smith from the Kauri team at Auckland Council joined us to talk about Kauri Dieback and what it takes to ensure healthy trees stay that way.

Zacc told us about the oomycete (similar to a fungus or bacteria) that causes the disease, and that opened the floor to a really wide-ranging range of lively and entertaining questions which he answered as best he could.

It is clear that Zacc and his team are doing their very best in a post-covid world. The most simple explanation of what the KDB team are asking us to do – for the medically minded amongst you: is to engage ‘sterile technique’ when interacting with the trees. That is to say that like covid, you should always assume you are carrying the pathogen and take appropriate action.

Sorry we don’t have photos of our victorious ginger team, the terrain was too challenging for our photographer on the day. On that note, if you think you’re not up to clambering around on steep slopes but would like to join the weeding team, please let me know. We have lots of things that need doing like: photography, a knowledgeable bird lover, logistics, signs and pamphlet distribution… add your talents to our team, we need all the hands we can get!

by Sandra Gorter

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