Forest pathology

Scion’s pathology group specialises in diseases that affect New Zealand’s forests.

We offer capabilities to support the health of all forest types: planted, conservation and urban forests.

Our capabilities include:

  • Biosecurity, surveillance and diagnostics
  • Chemical control of forest pathogens
  • Biological control with fungi and viruses 
  • Modified silvicultural regimes
  • Inducing resistance in trees through micro-organisms or genetic selection
  • Improving seedling growth using ectomychorrizae

View a list of our staff.

Protecting New Zealand from new forest diseases

New Zealand’s production and natural forests are at risk from pathogens that can arrive through global trade and tourism.

We provide the science that supports government agencies to prevent harmful pathogens from entering the country.

Impacts can be greatly reduced by early diagnosis of diseases using molecular and traditional techniques.

Read about our achievements in protecting New Zealand from potentially damaging organisms.

Our diagnostic service is underpinned by Scion’s Forest Health Fungal Herbarium and Culture Collection.

Managing forest diseases in New Zealand

The main health issues affecting planted forests in New Zealand are needle, canker and root rot diseases.

More information on specific diseases is available through the following links:
• Dothistroma needle blight
• Cyclaneusma needle cast
• Nectria flute canker
• Armillaria root rot
• Field assessment, control and identification of common foliage diseases of pine in New Zealand


Read more about how we can help you to reduce disease impacts.

Contact: Rebecca Ganley

Modified silvicultural regimes
We work closely with forest growers to devise ways of manipulating forest management operations and regimes to minimise the effects of diseases such as Dothistroma and Cyclaneusma.

Induced resistance
We undertake research into induced resistance responses in forest trees to insect and fungal attack. Previous studies have found that fungal endophytes are present in all conifer forest systems examined and are believed to have a role in resistance-mediated responses.

Contact: Rebecca Ganley