Efforts to Protect VNP from ROD OngoingFebruary 8, 2020, 10:40 AM HST (Updated February 8, 2020, 10:42 AM)
The 1,000th ‘Ōhi‘a tree within Volcanoes National Park was tested for the presence of fungi that causes Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, or ROD.
Park staff and members of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee collected wood chips earlier this week where samples will be analyzed in a lab. If ROD is confirmed, the tree will be cut down and covered to prevent further spread of ROD into the surrounding forest.
ROD has been confirmed in over 100 ‘ōhi‘a trees in the park. Since its discovery, ROD has killed more than half a million trees on Hawai‘i Island, and has recently spread to Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Maui.
“‘Ōhi‘a are the backbone of Hawaiian forests, and land managers, scientists, and our local residents are working together to learn more about the fungus and how to halt its spread,” officials say.
Visitors to the park can help prevent the spread of ROD by cleaning their shoes before and after hiking on park trails. Most of the popular trailheads have a boot brushing station where all mud and seeds may be brushed and scraped from footwear.
For more information on how to prevent the spread of ROD, visit the official ROD website: https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/rod/.
To learn more about ROD in the park, visit: https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/nature/rapid-ohia-death.htm.