Hawaiian environment authorities are struggling to fight against a tree plague, which is causing local ohia tree to wither away and die in just a few weeks. Fungus bleak kills Hawaiian trees and the authorities remain perplexed as to the nature of the fungus.
The never before seen fungus has already infected 50 percent of the ohia tree population which spread over an area of 6000 acres. According to official reports, it would seem that the infected trees have been identified in Puna, Kona and Kau, although this is just a rough estimate.
Wilt disease or ohia wilt is the name of the disease carried by the Ohia Lehua trees, one of Hawaii’s cultural landmarks. The ohia trees are an intimate part of many Hawaiian traditions, including the hula.
Apart from the symbolic value, the Ohia tree is also very important for the environment. According to several observations made over the years, the ohia tree is capable of keeping water supplies in check, due to the fact that its underground roots can absorb large quantities of water.
The trees are are important for the local wild species, especially for birds, who feed upon the nectar produced by the tree’s fruits. Also, the Ohia provides adequate shelter for several plant species, which use the tree’s shade in order to develop.
Robert Hauff, the state coordinator for Land and Natural resources has issued a statement regarding the measures taken by the authorities against this tree bleak. Hauff said that he and a team of specialists are planning on making a few fly-bys over the forest in order to determine the extent of the infection and to see what measures can be taken in order to put a stop to Ohia wilt.
The team managed to come up with a couple of prediction concerning the Ohia tree population. The same Hauff declared that according to the bad scenario, all Ohia population will become infected with this disease and that in a couple of years all of them will perish.
Fungus bleak kills Hawaiian trees and authorities are doing everything in their power to control the rate of infection. According to the available literature on the subject, the wilt disease can be caused by a fungus bacteria or nematodes.
These infectious agents are capable of affecting the plant’s vascular system. Fungus or other types of pathogens are capable of invading the tree’s vascular vessels, thus impeding the xylem, to transport the nutrients and water to the tree’s most sensible systems. As such, different parts of the tree will begin to wilt away.