EXPERTLY negotiating the many steps leading to the bottom of Hukutaia Domain are Chris Maxwell, John Williams, Ellen Haretuku and Leti Schmidt. Photo Roseanne Jones

THE Hukutaia Domain Care Group and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints worked together last Saturday to reduce the risk of the domain’s four kauri trees falling ill.

Care group spokeswoman Kay McLeod said kauri dieback disease was “deadly serious”.

“It’s transported by spores in the soil and people can spread the disease on their shoes,” she said.

Hence, a walking track in the Hukutaia Doman has been shifted to help better isolate and protect one of the kauri trees.

“Many tracks have been closed up north,” Mrs McLeod said.

“They are trying to slow the spread of the disease.”

She said the disease was threatening large stands of trees that could all be killed.

“We may lose all the big forests up north and only individual trees may survive.”

It was therefore important that trees standing by themselves, such as those in the domain, be protected.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Opotiki spokeswoman Roseanne Jones said church members had helped complete the installation of the new track.

“The new track was built to circumvent a kauri tree at risk of kauri die-back disease,” she said.

“The care croup had previously installed the drainage and boxing for the track.”

Mrs Jones said church members moved six cubic metres of metal by wheelbarrow onto the new track, located at the bottom section of the domain near the tree.

“Some of the metal was taken to other parts of the tracks that needed maintenance,” she said.

“Throughout the day members of the care group shared much about the plant, animal and bird life in the domain, what is involved in maintaining the domain and all the other groups involved in its care.”

Mrs Jones said every year church members around the world participated in a Day of Service by donating their time to help in community projects on a specific date.

“Other church members from Tauranga, Whakatane and Kawerau worked with the Manawahe Ecological Charitable Trust on the same day to help in the upgrade and maintenance of their buildings and grounds,” she said.

sven.carlsson@thebeacon.co.nz