Rapid Ohia Death: A New Threat to Hawaii’s Forests

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 in News, Press release, slider

A new fungal pathogen known as Rapid Ohia Death (Ceratocystis fimbriata) was identified on Hawaii Island in 2014. The fungus attacks and can quickly kill ohia trees (Metrosideros polymorpha). Ohia is endemic to Hawaii and comprises approximately 80% of Hawaii’s native forests.

In 2015, the HISC awarded funds to the University of Hawaii to support a post-doctoral researcher to assist an interagency team of scientists in the Hilo area (including the University of Hawaii, USDA Agriculture Research Station, and US Forest Service) to study how this disease is transmitted and to find potential treatment options. 

Information about Rapid Ohia Death is quickly evolving, and up-to-date information can be found at www.rapidohiadeath.org. To receive updates, you can also “like” the Rapid Ohia Death page on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/rapidohiadeath.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued a press release regarding Rapid Ohia Death and produced the video brochure below detailing the importance of this issue. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has implemented a quarantine for ohia products on Hawaii Island to limit the spread of this fungus.

(Click here to visit the Hawaii DLNR Vimeo page)