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A Newly identified disease

A newly identified disease has killed hundreds of thousands of mature ʻōhiʻa trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) in the South Hilo, Puna, Kaʻū, and Kona districts of Hawaiʻi Island. (Photo by JB Friday)

Crowns of affected trees

Crowns of affected trees turn yellowish (chlorotic) and then brown within days to weeks. (Photo by JB Friday)

Ceratocystis fungus

Ceratocystis fungus appears as dark, radial staining in the sapwood, sometimes accompanied by reddish reaction wood in the heartwood of the tree. (Photo by JB Friday)

Don't spread ROD: Don't moveʻōhiʻa

Don't spread ROD: Don't move ʻōhiʻa, clean your tools, your gear, your vehicle. (Photo by JB Friday)

Fine boring dust

Fine boring dust produced by ambrosia beetles contains large numbers of fungal spores. Windblown boring dust could spread the disease long distances. (Photo by JB Friday)


A new fungal disease is currently attacking and killing ʻōhiʻa (Metrosideros polymorpha), the most abundant native tree in the state of Hawaiʻi. On Hawaiʻi Island, hundreds of thousands of ʻōhiʻa have already died across thousands of acres from this fungus, called Ceratocystis fimbriata. Healthy trees appear to die within a few days to a few weeks, which is how the disease came to be called “Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.” This disease has killed trees in all districts of Hawaiʻi Island and has the potential to kill ʻōhiʻa trees statewide.  



Updated September 30, 2017

Currently, the disease is only found on Hawaiʻi Island. 



Preventing the spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death will benefit all of Hawaiʻi, so help out by practicing the five things we can all do to prevent spreading Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death fungus: 

1. Don’t move ʻōhiʻa wood or ʻōhiʻa parts. If you don’t know where the ʻōhiʻa material is from, don’t move it.

2. Don’t transport ʻōhiʻa inter-island. Follow the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture quarantine rule and help to keep ROD from reaching the other islands.

3. Avoid injuring ʻōhiʻa. Wounds serve as entry points for the fungus and increase the odds that the tree will become infected and die from ROD. Avoid pruning and contact with heavy equipment wherever possible.

4. Clean gear and tools, including shoes and clothes, before and after entering forests. Brush all soil off of tools and gear, then spray with 70% rubbing alcohol. Wash clothes with hot water and soap.

5. Wash the tires and undercarriage of your vehicle with soap and remove all soil or mud, especially after traveling from an area with ROD and/or if you have traveled off-road.

By following these simple practices, we can all ensure ʻōhiʻa for our future! 

This website and the Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death extension program partially funded by the
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Renewable Resources Extension Act and the Smith-Lever Act