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Rapid Ohia Death found in fifth tree on Oahu

Rapid ohia death was detected in a fifth tree on Oahu, prompting the closure of a popular trail, officials said today.

The afflicted tree was spotted last week near the Poamoho trail near Wahiawa by staff with the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and the closure is expected to happen this week. Crews will also be conducting sampling of surrounding trees to ensure the fungus has not spread.

First detected on Hawaii island in 2014, the fungal disease has killed or injured hundreds of thousands of trees on the Big Island. One or the other of the two strains of the fungus has now been detected on Kauai, Maui, and Oahu.

The latest tree is afflicted with the less virulent strain of rapid ohia death, officials said.

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