24 May 2012

Wild kiwifruit spreading

9:36 pm on 24 May 2012

Wild kiwifruit vines are again creeping up in Bay of Plenty, especially around the main growing region Te Puke.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council spends $100,000 per year on wild kiwifruit control, in partnership with New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers and Kiwifruit Vine Health.

Last year 7000 unwanted vines were destroyed - the most in a decade.

As the kiwifruit harvest tails off, land management group manager Warwick Murray says orchardists are sending tens of thousands of tonnes of reject fruit to farmers as stock feed.

In turn, birds pick at the seeds and spread them around the region.

He says the wild vines strangle native bush and pine trees and can also spread the Psa disease.

Mr Murray says the vines are easy to recognise at this time of year as the leaves turn yellow and anyone who sees them should pull them out.