‘Ōhi‘a Seed Banking Initiative
By Kaili Kosaka
The seed bank at MNBG has gotten a lot busier these days. Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) is of growing concern on Hawai‘i Island and the threat of it hitting Maui is ever increasing. A proactive approach to combating the disease is through the banking of ‘ōhi‘a lehua seeds. Lyon Arboretum and Laukahi Network partnered to fundraise through #OhiaLove and created a statewide seed banking initiative.
Staff attended the December meeting at UH Maui College to learn about the project, proper collection techniques, and to introduce MNBG as the primary repository for ‘ōhi‘a collections on Maui. Since the meeting we have received 54 collections with about 1.5 million seeds from other conservation organizations on the island. We hope to continue to bank ‘ōhi‘a seeds as the threat of ROD increases and establish more relationships with fellow conservation programs on island.