Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death/Hala Discussion at Volcano Art Center

July 3, 2017, 11:06 AM HST
* Updated July 3, 11:10 AM
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Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. DOA photo.

Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD), a fungal infection, has decimated thousands of acres of Big Island’s keystone ‘ōhi‘a forest species.

Dr. Lisa Keith, a research plant pathologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, will describe the work being done to understand the two strains of fungus attacking and destroying the island’s ‘ōhi‘a trees on Thursday, July 6, 2017, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus.

She will discuss the ROD fungus, how it works, where it is from, how we detect it and what is known so far about this pathogen.

She will also talk about the experiments being done to mitigate or eliminate the considerable damage wreaked by this threat to Hawai‘i’s ecosystem.

Another plant species of vital importance to the Hawaiian environment and culture is the pandanus or hala, which is under attack on other Hawaiian Islands; it has not yet reached the Big Island.


In this case, the culprit is an insect that causes severe damage and stunted fronds—fronds are essential to Hawai‘i’s weavers of hala mats and other articles.


Stacy Chun from Hilo’s DOA will speak about this threat.

In the instances of both Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death and hala decline, it is important to understand as much as possible about the threats to our islands’ natural resources in order to protect and defend the environment and culture of this unique Hawaiian place.

This presentation is free; however, a $5 donation is greatly appreciated.


This evening is part of a once-a-month Thursday night series at the Volcano Art Center focusing on art, Hawaiian culture and our environment. The series is intended to inspire, enhance your appreciation of art and life experience, while fostering community connections.

The Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus is located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village.

For more information, call (808) 967-8222 or visit

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