Norfolk Island Hibiscus (Lagunaria patersonii) is a hibiscus tree endemic to Norfolk Island. It is widely planted throughout Australia; it is favoured by councils for its amenity value and minimal maintenance requirements. But there is a considerable downside when it comes to its seed pods and the dispersal of irritating fibres. Residents liken the allergic reaction to these fibres as pure hell. All is not lost as there may be a promising solution in controlling the trees seed pod production.
Elmsavers is conducting trials with a novel chemistry formulation that’s showing promise as a significant seed pod suppression tool. This could be the ideal situation for councils and residents afflicted. Retaining a valuable problematic tree asset by inducing seed pod suppression is key. Outcomes are potentially significant, with reduced allergy risk to residents and the general public. This trial was conducted at an inner-city Melbourne location.
Tree on the left was treated with a novel chemistry on 22/09/2021 – Untreated Control Tree UTC is on the Right, updated image taken 12/04/2022. Conclusion, a remarkable result that calls for further investigation as a potential tool for urban tree management.