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 that until now, where unknown to science. Ceratocystis lukuohia, destroyer of ‘ōhi‘a and Ceratocystis huliohia, turning of ‘ōhi‘a. Both fungi infect and kill ‘ōhi‘a by attacking 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 mitigate the impacts.
Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death has now been detected on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu. To date, the more aggressive form of the disease has not been found on Maui or O‘ahu.
Everyone is asked to help stop the spread of ROD by following these 5 steps:
- Don’t injure ‘ōhi‘a. Avoid mowing and walking over roots.
- 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)
- Keep your eyes open. If you see ‘ōhi‘a with ROD symptoms on O‘ahu, take a picture and contact OISC right away so we can collect a sample for testing. Email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at: 266-7994.
- Clean your tools, gear, clothing and shoes when hunting, hiking, or gathering. Remove all dirt and much and either dip or spray 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.
Since August 2015, OISC joined the effort to monitor for Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD). OISC conduct aerial surveys of all ʻōhiʻa forests on the island twice a year to look for and sample suspect trees. OISC also responds to reports of symptomatic ʻōhiʻa trees across the island. Wood is collected from these symptomatic trees, then sent to a lab in Hilo to test for the presence or absence of the ROD fungus.
ON O‘AHU: PLEASE REPORT DEAD/DYING ‘ŌHI‘A TREES WITH BROWN LEAVES.
OISC has been assisting with reports of suspect ‘ōhi‘a trees on O‘ahu by collecting samples and submitting them to the ROD Team on the Big Island. On O‘ahu, If you see a dead or dying ‘ōhi‘a trees that still have brown leaves attached, 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.
For O‘ahu updates, visit: www.oahuisc.org/rod-oahu
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