Myoporum Replacement

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If you've been down to the Brisbane Marina lately for a stroll along the walkway, you may have noticed that some of the shrubs aren't as full and lush as they once were.  This is due to the multi-trunk shrubs and trees, Myoporums, having become infested with Klambothrips Myopori, or thrip, a pest native to Australia. 

The thrips, being less than 1/20 inch long, have been causing considerable leaf deformation on the plant species, resulting in the Myoporum's leaves turning brown and becoming curled, as shown in the photo below of one of the younger Myoporum shrubs:

Numerous control methods have been used to stop the thrips from continuing to puncture their host and sucking out its cell contents, but none of the methods resulted in a reduced number of the pest.  Therefore, a three-phase project is starting this week to remove the Myoporum trees and shrubs, and replace them with plant species suited to the windy, salt air environment which are also bee-friendly and non-invasive to the region.  For the remainder of this year, only Phase 1 will be completed as the project is being completed using fees collected through the Sierra Point Lighting and Landscaping Assessment District.  Next year, Phase 2 will be completed, followed by Phase 3 in 2013.  As depicted in the illustration below, the shrubs and trees that are to be removed fall along the Marina walkway, between the parking lot and the paved walkway.  Contractors will begin at the south end (right side on map) near Dock 1 and continue north and remove the trees near Docks 5 - 6.

The picture below is the parking lot view of the Myoporum that will be removed in the coming few days:

Please exercise caution in the Marina Shared Use Lot over the next few weeks.  Parking near the lot's eastern edge will be limited as the project begins.  Prior to the replanting taking place, the ground needs to be properly mulched and the existing water irrigation system retrofit to be water-efficient.  Thank you for your patience as Phase 1 of this project gets underway!


The fact that the plants were

The fact that the plants were watered daily probably did more harm than the Pests! In this climate, no irrigation was required at all, much less every day! Even given that, the shrubbery was dense and green (as shown in the picture), and provided a windbreak for the marina and picnic tables. The City's "broke", can't afford weed abatement, yet finds funds to cut down and replace trees because a bug is dining on them. Ridiculous!

It is not a correct statement

It is not a correct statement that the Myoporums were watered daily. In fact, none of the vegetation, including ground plane turf, is watered on a daily basis at Sierra Point.

The pest known scientifically as Klambothrips myopori is a tenacious bug that first appeared in this area in 2005, and which is now destroying an entire genus of plants widely used as ornamentals and along public right-of-ways. Numerous control methods were attempted in 2009, and none were successful in appreciably reducing the damage to the Myoporum.

All of the money used to pay for the replacement of the Myoporums will come from the Sierra Point Landscaping and Lighting District, an enterprise fund whose revenue is derived solely from the property owners within the SPLL District.

Any idea as to what will

Any idea as to what will replace the myoporum? I am having the same problem in my yard. Jim

Jim, the main thing to keep

Jim, the main thing to keep in mind for your yard is to not have a dominant species, which could all be compromised if a pest like a thrip were to invade. Therefore, the Myoporum's replacement trees consist of the: Monterey Cypress, Toyon, Australian Tee Tree, Pink Melaleuca, Cajeput Tree, New Zealand Christmas Tree, Italian Stone Pine, Flaxleaf Paperbark, and Poplar...all of which are not vulnerable to the klambothrip. FYI -- the Toyon, Cajeput, and New Zealand Christmas Tree are on the City's approved street tree list, the Toyon and Australian Christmas Tree are flowering trees and attract native California bees, and the Monterey Cypress and Pink Melaleuca serve as windscreens and will do well with salt spray at the Marina. Good luck with your yard!

Myoporum was an unenlightened

Myoporum was an unenlightened choice to plant.

The City of Brisbane has shown numerous signs of environmental awareness. Supporting native organisms, such as birds, bees, butterflies is coming to be recognized as a contribution to a healthier environment, and a way of partially mitigating the damage done by societal development. The way you invite wildlife into your city is by planting locally native plants--the plants that grow on your mountain, San Bruno Mountain.

And Brisbane also has a nursery that exclusively grows the plants growing on SBM, the Mission Blue Nursery.