Aerial survey finds no evidence of Rapid Ohia Death in East Maui

Helicopter and drone surveys of East Maui found no evidence of Rapid Ohia Death in East Maui, but residents and visitors still should remain vigilant, officials from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Maui Invasive Species Committee stated last week.

In early July a single ohia tree was afflicted with Ceratocystis huliohia on a private beach about 53 miles east of Wailuku. All remnants of the tree were burned on July 5 after it tested positive for the Rapid Ohia Death fungus by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service lab in Hilo.

“That was the quickest turnaround; from the time it was reported to the time it was disposed of was two weeks,” said Lissa Strohecker, public relations and education specialist for MISC. “We didn’t see any other trees in that immediate area that were suspect, but I wouldn’t say that we’re confident that we’re in the clear. We’ll definitely continue to do surveys in that area.”