And unauthorised visitors to a remote valley west of Sydney probably brought the fungus with them when they visited the 'secret' home of these Jurassic-era relics.
Dr Tony Fleming, head of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in New South Wales, says the root rot fungus, Phytophthora cinnamomi, was this week confirmed in soil, and in at least one tree.
There are only 100 trees in the wild, soon to be 99. If this wipes out the wild stand then the only Wollemi Pines left will be the clones in the nurseries. Buy a tree, save the species.