ohia

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Climate change is affecting the food supply of Hawaiʻi's native and non-native bird species.

Sherry Bracken
Sherry Bracken

Hawai'i Island has the most ohia trees in the state – more than 800,000 out of 1 million trees estimated to exist in the state.  But it also is the home to a fungus that is killing the trees off.  A local artist is documenting the trees in the best way he can. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken provides this update.

State Announces Plan For Native Tree Disease

Dec 1, 2016
Flickr / Frank Hamm
Flickr / Frank Hamm

Scientists, lawmakers, and representatives from federal agencies gathered at Hawai‘i’s state capital Wednesday for the first-ever Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death Summit. The fungal disease affecting one of Hawai‘i’s most important trees has killed more than 50,000 acres of native ‘ōhi‘a.

Ohia Death Spreads On Hawaii Island

Sep 10, 2016
DLNR
DLNR

State officials say the fungal disease called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death is continuing to threaten native ‘ōhi‘a trees on the Big Island. 'Ōhi'a covers about 865,000 acres statewide. Recent surveys show the disease has now impacted nearly 50,000 acres on the Big Island, an increase of a little more than a third from earlier this year.

Ohia Death Leaves Imprint On Native Culture

Mar 31, 2016
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hula’s most prestigious festival Merrie Monarch begins tonight. For more than 50 years, hula hālau from across the islands have descended on Hilo for the three-day competition. But some traditions are being altered this year, in light of a rapidly spreading disease that’s killing Hawai‘i’s ‘ōhi‘a trees. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

Music fills the empty gym of St Francis School in Mānoa. Dancers line up for one last practice before heading to Hilo to compete in Merrie Monarch. One of their kumu, Robert Keano Ka‘upu, yells out notes as they glide onto the floor.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

One of Hawai‘i’s oldest and most culturally important native trees is under siege from a mysterious disease. So far more than 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a trees have died, and it's left scientists scrambling for a solution. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Big Island forest where it all began.

About 40 minutes south of Hilo, in the Leilani Estates subdivision in lower Puna, is what scientists are calling ground zero for Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.

Merrie Monarch Without Ohia?

Feb 17, 2016
Merrie Monarch Festival
Merrie Monarch Festival

With Merrie Monarch approaching late next month, hula hālau across the state are beginning to prepare for the upcoming festival on Hawai‘i Island. For some that means gathering plants and flowers that represent the mele, or song. It’s a tradition that’s brought countless hālau into native ‘ōhi‘a forests, where the lehua blossom grows. But a rapidly spreading disease is prompting some to call for an all-out ban this year. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.

J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi
J.B. Friday, University of Hawaiʻi

The ʻōhiʻa tree is a statewide symbol of Hawaiʻi's forests. Over the past five years, ʻōhiʻa appear to be dying rapidly and under mysterious circumstances from a microscopic enemy. By limiting the transport of diseased woods, we can stop the disease making its way to other islands.

Christopher Phillips explains...

University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii

Scientists say a disease killing hundreds of thousands of ‘ōhi‘a trees on Hawaii's Big Island is spreading. Recent aerial surveys show the acreage of infected trees has more than doubled in the past two years. State, county and federal agencies collaborated to conduct the surveys by helicopter last month. The fungal disease, called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, was found in 34,000 acres of ‘ōhi‘a forest. Rob Hauff is the Forest Health Coordinator with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

Hundreds of thousands of native ohia trees are dying off because of a new fungus. The disease is spreading across the Big Island and state officials are hoping to contain it before it reaches other islands. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports.