HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Agriculture is reminding those traveling to the Merrie Monarch Festival this week about quarantine restrictions on ʻōhiʻa.

According to the DOA, quarantine restrictions remain on the transport of ʻōhiʻa from Hawai`i Island due to the fungal plant disease, rapid ʻōhiʻa death, also known as ROD.

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ROD is devastating to the native forests and estimated that at least one million ōhiʻa trees have been killed by this disease just on the Big Island.

The movement of ʻōhiʻa plants and plant parts, including flowers, leaves, seeds, stems, twigs, cuttings, untreated wood, logs, mulch, green waste and frass (sawdust from boring insects) and any soil from Big Island is restricted according to regulations.

In order to legally transport these items you must obtain a permit issued by the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine Branch (HDOA-PQB).

“Agricultural inspectors will be stationed at the airports in Hilo and Kona to collect any ʻōhiʻa material which will be respectfully returned to the native forests on Hawai‘i Island,” said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It takes all of us to protect Hawai‘i.”

If the quaratine rules are violated, the violator may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100 with a maximum fine of $10,000.

For a second offense committed within five years of a prior conviction under this rule, the person or organization shall be fined not less than $500 and not more than $25,000, according to DOA.

You can contact the appropriate office for more inepsection related questions:

Hilo – (808) 961-9393

Kona – (808) 326-1077

Kauaʻi – (808) 241-7135

Honolulu – (808) 837-8413  

Maui – (808) 872-3848

Check out more news from around Hawaii

For more information, take a lot at this travel alert.

State of Hawai‘i Deaprtment of Agriculture website.

University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources website.