Further research by NZPPI and Plant & Food Research have identified another cultivar of Japanese flowering cherry, Prunus serrulata 'Kiku Shidare Sakura' as having low fertility. Auckland Council will be adding this to their exemption list, so producers can continue to sell this cultivar in the Auckland Region.
The exemption issued on 3 November 2023 revokes and replaces the previous Prunus serrulata exemption dated 1 April 2022.
This brings the list of cultivars exempt from the Regional Pest Management Plan ban to three: Kanzan, Shimidsu Sakura and Kiku Shidare Sakura.
This exemption also provides for a temporary extension allowing breeding, sale and distribution of an additional four potentially low fertility cultivars (Ukon, Tai Haku, Shirotae and Amanogawa) through to 1 September 2025, to enable further fertility testing to be undertaken.
Many thanks to Waimea Nurseries for hosting the research scientists over the 22/23 summer and conducting some of the ‘fruit-set’ counting work.
A copy of the exemption notice can be found at the link below.
NZPPI has been advocating for the exemption of various low fertility/ low sterile Japanese flowering cherry cultivars for some time now. Flowering cherries are a popular street tree in urban subdivisions and developments, as well as home gardens. The work we are doing with Plant & Food Research will help ensure that these useful trees can be used to increase the tree canopy in the Auckland region.