Fast-Spreading Ohia Wilt Disease Now Killing Trees in Holualoa, Kealakekua

"An ohia stand grows in Kaloko Mauka. A fast-spreading wilt disease has been discovered in trees on the west side of the island. Laura Shimabuku/West Hawaii Today"

A new challenge for the health of our sensitive native forests has quickly emerged: rapid ohia death. Disease leads to dead trees. Dead trees mean more fuel. More fuel means a higher wildfire risk.

Mahalo to our long-time partner, J.B. Friday for helping raise the awareness level of this important issue!

From the Source:

"The fungus, which spread swiftly over more than 16,000 acres in East Hawaii, has been discovered in trees in Holualoa and Kealakekua, said James Friday, an extension forester with the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in Hilo."

“Don’t move wood around, don’t move plants around,” Friday told a packed Council Chambers at the forum sponsored by Rep. Nicole Lowen. “Kaloko mauka is what I’m really worried about. You buy infected wood from Puna, cut it up in your driveway, the sawdust blows around, and you just infected your forest.”