Metrosideros polymorpha

‘Ōhi‘a is the main pioneer plant on new lava flows and ash deposits. You can see some examples of this in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Most of the ‘ōhi‘a in Niaulani rainforest got established after an explosion from Kīlauea volcano around 1700 AD.

There is no rapid ‘ōhi‘a death (ROD) in Niaulani rainforest because there are very few injuries that would introduce it to the plant.

About This Plant

About Your Instructor

Tim Tunison

Tim moved to Hawai‘i from the mainland in 1982, transferring to a position as a Botanist and Resource Manager at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The Botanist/Resource Manager at Hawai‘i Volcanoes was ideal, in that he could finally work fulltime as a Biologist restoring Hawaiian native plants and ecosystems by removing invasive species. Tim's educational background was in Biology with a master's degree in 1973. He worked at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for 23 years, first as a Resource Management Specialist in charge of the invasive plant control and ecosystem restoration, and then as Chief of the Natural Resource Management program. He retired in 2006, and in several months began teaching weekend classes on native tree and fern identification and rainforest ecology at the Volcano Art Center. With this VAC connection, he discovered the forest treasure at the Niaulani Campus, collaborated with VAC in developing a nature trail, and started supervising the current program of weekly nature walks and monthly forest weed control and forest restoration sessions in Niaulani Rainforest.

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