Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death: A House on Fire

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park


Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death is a disease caused by a fungus known as Ceratocytis fimbriata. In 2012 it had killed ‘ōhi‘a trees across about 1000 hectares (nearly 2500 acres.) By the summer of 2014, that number had swelled to over 6000 hectares. Still isolated to the island of Hawai‘i, researchers have yet to determine the origin of this virulent strain. Join research plant pathologist Lisa Keith of the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Flint Hughes, Research Ecologist with USDA Forest Service Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry and J.B. Friday, University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources as they provide an update on this new threat to Hawaii's native forests. Research so far has determined that within two to three years of detection, a majority of trees in some measured stands have succumbed to the disease. This means the fungus has the potential to threaten forests statewide, resembling not so much a tree disease as a house on fire. Don't miss this important opportunity to learn what you can do to help.