"In Hawai’i, Researchers Work To Slow The Rapid Death Of A Beloved Tree"

"Rapid ʻōhiʻa death, a fungal disease, has affected more than 71,000 hectares (175,000 acres) of forest on the Island of Hawai’i since around 2008, and has been detected on the islands of Kaua’i, Oʻahu, and Maui."

"Hawaiian myth says that ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees were created by Pele, the goddess of fire and creator of the Hawaiian islands. Spurned by a handsome young warrior, ʻŌhiʻa, she turned him into a twisted tree; the other gods, out of pity, turned his heartbroken lover, Lehua, into a flower, so that they would be joined together forever.

Today, ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees are suffering for a different reason: a fungal disease called rapid ʻōhiʻa death (ROD) is spreading swiftly through Hawaiian forests and killing the trees.

When the pathogen was first identified in 2014, the potential damage seemed catastrophic."

Shannon Brown reports for Mongabay June 5, 2020.


Source: Mongabay, 06/08/2020