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Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death or R.O.D. has been found on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui, and Oʻahu. Both Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi have confirmed Ceratocystis lukuohia (destroyer of ʻōhiʻa) and Ceratocystis huliohia (disruptor of ʻōhiʻa) the two fungal pathogens causing R.O.D. While C. Lukuohia is a more aggressive fungus, either species will kill the beloved ʻōhiʻa. While trees may look healthy, once a tree shows symptoms, it usually dies within a few weeks.

What Can We Do?

Let’s help prevent the spreading of R.O.D. by practicing these five things:

  1. Avoid injuring the ʻōhiʻa plant/tree. Wounds serve as entry points for fungus. Avoid stepping on ʻōhiʻa roots while walking or hiking.
  2. Don’t move ʻōhiʻa wood or ʻōhiʻa parts. This includes parts of the ʻōhiʻa like the lehua blossoms and liko (leaf buds).
  3. Don’t transport ʻōhiʻa inter-island. Follow State Department of Agriculture rules.
  4. Clean gear and tools, including shoes and clothes before and after entering forested areas. After brushing off soil, spray with 70% rubbing alcohol. Clothes and shoes should be cleaned before and after entering Hawai’i’s forests. Wash clothes in hot water and soap.
  5. Wash the tires and undercarriage of your vehicle to remove all soil or mud. Try and remove all soil/mud from your tires and undercarriage, especially after traveling off-road.

More Information

Little Fire Ants

The Little Fire Ants were discovered on Hawaiʻi Island in the late 1990s. Since then, it has found it way to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Maui. Impact of the Little Fire Ants have been substantial, potentially impacting agriculture, tourism, environment, human health, and quality of life. On Hawaiʻi Island alone, the ant is estimated to have caused about $174 million a year in damages. For more information, how to identify Little Fire Ants and reporting any sightings, visit

Little Fire Ants

Photo Courtesy: Stop the Ant

Himalayan Ginger

They seem harmless and are very fragrant, but this is one of the most invasive species to Hawaiʻi’s beautiful rainforests. Native to moist tropical forests of the eastern Himalayas, it has, unfortunately, naturalized in other areas including Hawaiʻi. Help tackle the spread of Himalayan ginger at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park by volunteering in Stewardship at the Summit.

These are just a few of the environmental threats to Hawaiʻi.

Volunteer Removing Ginger

Photo Courtesy: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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