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Rapid ‘Ohi‘a death in Hawai‘i [Chapter 15]

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Cannon, Philip ; Friday, James B.; Harrington, Thomas ; Keith, Lisa ; Hughes, Marc ; Hauff, Rob ; Hughes, Flint ; Perroy, Ryan ; Benitez, David ; Roy, Kylle ; Peck, Robert ; Smith, Sheri ; Luiz, Blaine ; Cordell, Susan ; Giardina, Christian ; Juzwik, Jennifer ; Yelenik, Stephanie ; Cook, Zachary

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Forest Microbiology. 2: 267-289.


Metrosideros polymorpha, Hawaiian common name ‘ōhi‘a, is the dominant tree of Hawaiian forests, comprising 80% of the native forests and 50% of all forests in the state (Owen et al., in press; US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, n.d.). ‘Ōhi‘a trees contain 41% of all live-tree carbon sequestered on these islands (Owen et al., in press; US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, n.d.). Many ‘ōhi‘a forests are almost monospecific in the canopy, although they support a diverse and largely endemic understory. ‘Ōhi‘a is one of the first woody species to colonize new lava flows and persists on highly weathered clays on the oldest islands (Mueller-Dombois et al., 2013). ‘Ōhi‘a forests dominate upper watersheds that can receive more than 10,000 mm annual precipitation and persist in dry forests receiving less than 800 mm annual precipitation. Their range is from sea level to more than 2400 m above sea level (Adee and Conrad, 1990). The largest ‘ōhi‘a trees can reach 30 m in height and 2 m in diameter (Fig. 15.1), while dwarf varieties growing in bogs can reach maturity at less than a meter in height. Hart (2010) calculated that the largest trees are over 600 years old.


Ceratocystis; Ceratocystis lukuohia; Ceratocystis huliohia; Metrosideros; Metrosideros polymorpha; vascular wilt; canker; tree disease; Hawaii; tropical forests


Cannon, Philip; Friday, James B.; Harrington, Thomas; Keith, Lisa; Hughes, Marc; Hauff, Rob; Hughes, Flint; Perroy, Ryan; Benitez, David; Roy, Kylle; Peck, Robert; Smith, Sheri; Luiz, Blaine; Cordell, Susan; Giardina, Christian; Juzwik, Jennifer; Yelenik, Stephanie; Cook, Zachary. 2022. Rapid ‘Ohi‘a death in Hawai‘i [Chapter 15]. Forest Microbiology. 2: 267-289.

Last updated on: August 13, 2022