Believe it or not, 2020 has brought a little bit of good news for our native ohi’a! For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. Researchers from USGS planted young trees in areas where mature trees had been heavily damaged by ROD, and at the end of the year, found that the saplings were still healthy and strong. They are continuing to monitor the plots, but this new information supports previous scientific observations that keiki ohi’a are able to sprout and thrive in ROD-impacted areas if they are not overwhelmed by invasive plants.
Plant an Ohi’a!
It’s a great time to purchase and plant young ohi’a that you can enjoy for years to come! Be careful to plant your ohi’a where it will be protected from damage by yard equipment, away from any utility lines, and in areas absent roaming goats or cattle (which can cause bark damage that allows the fungus to enter the tree). Download our Plant Pono Buyer’s Guide to learn where you can get your own ohi’a, or gift one to a special member of your ohana!
Ohi’a Love Fest 2020
In November 2020, BIISC was proud to be a partner in the Ohi’a Love Fest, an annual event that this year was held entirely online for the first time. We presented a new short video showing life behind-the-scenes with our Rapid Ohi’a Death early detection & response team. The team joined us after the showing for a live Q&A session online. You can view recordings of the many other great OLF workshops and sessions on the ROD Facebook page or when videos are made available on the ROD website.