COVID-19 Response Please note that some services have been impacted due to COVID-19. We thank you for your patience as we work through this challenging time.
Close alert

What is Dieback?

Phytophthora Dieback is an introduced water mould that lives in soil and plant tissue. It kills susceptible vegetation by causing root rot and stopping the transfer of water and nutrients up the stem of the plant.

Phytophthora Dieback can be found in suburban gardens, landscaped areas, golf courses, plant nurseries with poor hygiene practices, horticultural plantations and bushland.

More information on dieback can be found at the Dieback Working Group website.

Which Species Does it Affect?

It has a deadly impact on many native species, including Eucalyptus, Banksia and Casuarina. It can also infect regular garden plants such as apple, peach, apricot and avocado trees, grapevines, camellias, azaleas, roses, proteas and rhododendrons.

How is it Spread?

Phytophthora Dieback spreads via the movement of spores through wet soil and from plant to plant through their root systems. Human activity in infested areas is the main method by which diseased soil is moved from place to place. It can also be spread by movement of infested gravel, road construction, animals and off-road vehicles. The risk of spread is greatest during spring and autumn.

Dieback Control in the City of Melville

The City of Melville is actively engaged in managing the impact and spread of dieback. Although there are effective treatments to slow the spread of Phytophthora Dieback, there is no known method to eradicate the pathogen.

Dieback in the City of Melville has been confirmed in the following locations:

  • Wireless Hill Park
  • Ken Hurst Park
  • Blue Gum Lake
  • Attadale Quarantine Area
  • Len Shearer Reserve
  • Beasley Reserve
  • Ron Carrol Reserve
  • Douglas Freeman Park
  • Bill Brown Reserve
  • Peter Ellis Park
  • Robert Weir Park
  • Richard Lewis Reserve
  • Piney Lakes Reserve
  • Harry Sandon Park
  • Point Walter
  • Harry Stickland
  • Peter Bosci Reserve
  • Bull Creek Reserve/Brockman Park
  • Phillip Jane Reserve
  • George Welby Park
  • Al Richardson
  • PJ Hanley Park
  • William Hall Park

Phosphite Treatment

In the City of Melville, native vegetation is treated using phosphite; a biodegradable, non-toxic fungicide, that boosts a plants defence and enables it to survive being infected by Phytophthora pathogens. However, phosphite does not eradicate the disease, it only suppresses the symptoms.

Other Control Measures

The City of Melville has implemented a number of dieback control initiatives in bushland areas where dieback is present.

Our initiatives include:

  • Installation of boot cleaning stations at Wireless Hill Reserve, Attadale Reserve and Piney Lakes Reserve.
  • Making dieback hygiene kits available for community group use in susceptible areas
  • Providing dieback hygiene kits to Environmental Services department staff who work in our bushlands
  • Mapping and treatment of our bushland reserves on a three yearly cycle to monitor the occurrence and spread of the disease
  • Signage to mark out dieback infected areas
  • Fencing to restrict access where there is high risk of dieback being spread
  • Development of hygiene guidelines applicable to staff, contractors and the community who work in bushland areas.

What Can You Do?

There are a number of things you can do to help stop the spread of dieback:

  • Adhering to signage, staying on paths and respecting fences in bushland areas
  • Asking for dieback-free plants, gravel, potting mix, mulch and soil at your local nursery or garden centre
  • Community members can get involved in protecting their local bushland areas.

Dieback Phosphite Treatment Program 2021

Dieback Treatment Sites (Infested areas plus 20m buffer)Proposed Treatment Date
Ern Stapelton23rd September – 30th November 2021
Ron Carroll23rd September – 30th November 2021
Connelly Park23rd September – 30th November 2021
Tom Firth23rd September – 30th November 2021
Olding Park23rd September – 30th November 2021
Phillip Jane Park23rd September – 30th November 2021
Blue Gum Lake23rd September – 30th November 2021
Bull Creek Reserve23rd September – 30th November 2021
Wal Hughes23rd September – 30th November 2021

*Treatment dates subject to weather condition and accessibility to sites at time of treatment.

Department of Health WA approved public warning signage will be in place during all treatment activity.

Social Media Share this pageLinks below open in a new window

Was this page helpful?
Page Helpful