In an effort to prevent spread of this devastating disease to other islands, the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture approved an emergency quarantine measure on intrastate movement of ‘ōhi‘a and ‘ōhi‘a products.
Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is caused by two strains of the fungus Ceratocystis, which attacks the vascular system of the tree. These fungal strains haven’t been seen before and there is no known cure for this new disease, but the quarantine will afford researchers more time to look for ways to combat this new disease while it is still confined to one island.
“We don’t have all the answers about how the disease is transmitted,” said Scott Enright, Chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “However, the urgency to stop its spread is very clear. ‘Ōhi‘a makes up 50 percent of our native forests and watershed – resources that we just cannot risk losing.”
All residents and visitors to Hawai‘i Island are asked to help stop the spread of ROD by following these 5 steps:
- Don’t move ‘ōhi‘a wood, especially if you don’t know where it came from.
- Follow the quarantine rule and do not move ‘ōhi‘a materials to other islands without a permit. (Permit applications at: www.hdoa.hawaii.gov)
- Clean any tools used when cutting ‘ōhi‘a with *approved solution.
- Clean your gear, clothing and shoes when hunting, hiking, or gathering. Dip your soles in *approved solution, and wash clothes in hot water and detergent.
- Wash your vehicle with detergent, especially if you’ve traveled off-road.
*approved decontamination treatment proven to kill ROD fungus: spray with 70% rubbing alcohol.
OISC has been assisting with reports of suspect ‘ōhi‘a trees on Oahu by collecting samples and submitting them to the ROD Team on the Big Island. Samples submitted have tested negative for ROD. If you see a dead or dying ‘ōhi‘a trees that still have their leaves, and are on Oahu, you can contact OISC at 266-7994 or email email@example.com. Also, please take a photo (if can) of the suspect tree and note the precise location in the report.
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