(BIVN) – The effectiveness of two heating methods to kill Ceratocystis, the fungus deadly to Hawaiʻi’s native ʻōhiʻa trees, was examined during the Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Science Symposium was held last week at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.
University of Hawaiʻi Post-Doctoral Researcher, Dr. Mark Hughes, presented the results of two trials for potential sterilization: kiln heating and vacuum steam. Both methods were successful in killing the fungus.
Hawaiʻi DLNR wrote:
The group also looked at the efficacy of current methods to try and stem the spread of Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death. Do boot cleaning stations at trailheads work? Does felling, tarping, and fungicide application to dead trees stop the fungus in its tracks? Are additional quarantine measures needed to strengthen those already in place to provide an additional layer of protection to uninfected trees? And, what additional outreach and education needs to happen to best inform everyone about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death and how it is devastating hundreds of thousands of acres of ʻōhiʻa forest – ʻōhiʻa is considered Hawaii’s most important native tree species because of its watershed protecting abilities and cultural significance.
In a previously published video taken during the event, DLNR chair Suzanne Case and kumu Kekuhi Keali’ikanaka’oleohaililani shared insights into the effort to save the beloved ʻōhiʻa tree.