Interim Rule Issued to Restrict the Movement of Palm Tree Material to Slow the Spread of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle on O`ahu

Posted on Jul 1, 2022 in Main

July 1, 2022

HONOLULU – The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) today issued an interim rule restricting the movement of coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) host material within the island of O`ahu and from O`ahu to neighbor islands. CRB host material includes, but is not limited to, entire trees, green waste, compost, mulch, trimmings, fruit and vegetative scraps and decaying stumps of palm and palm-related plants. The interim rule is effective today, Friday, July 1, 2022.

In November 2020, the Chairperson of the Hawai`i Board of Agriculture issued another interim rule designating the Island of O`ahu as an area infested by CRB (Oryctes rhinoceros).

CRB is a serious pest of palm trees, primarily coconut palms, as the adult beetles bore into the crowns of the palms to feed on the tree’s sap. New unopened fronds are damaged in this way and when fully opened, may break and fall unexpectedly. If CRB kill or damage the growing point of the palm, the tree may die. Secondary fungal or bacterial pathogens may also attack the wounds caused by CRB, thereby killing the tree as well. Tree mortality after CRB attack has been reported to be anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent. Dead trees then become a safety hazard as they may fall unexpectedly after the trunk rots, potentially resulting in bodily injury or property damage.

CRB was first detected in Hawai`i in Dec. 2013 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and has since been detected in West O`ahu, from Māʻili to Pearl City and north to Kunia. Infestations have also been detected on the North Shore from Mokule’ia to Kahuku. More than 3,000 CRB traps have been deployed around O`ahu to detect infestations. There have been no detections of CRB on islands other than O`ahu.

To help slow the spread of the invasive beetle on O`ahu and to neighbor islands, the interim rule will restrict the movement or transportation of CRB host material within the island of O`ahu and from a CRB-infested area to an area that is uninfested, except as approved by the HDOA.  For additional detail about the restrictions, the interim rule may be found at:

Authorization for the transportation of CRB host materials may occur for each of the following circumstances, subject to safeguards and/or treatments established by the HDOA:

  • Movement of any host material for the CRB, including Palmeceous palms and trees, compost, and green waste under state compliance agreement;
  • All host material being moved within the quarantine area must be completely enclosed or covered with a secure lid to prevent the spread of CRB during transport to the approved green waste disposal site. Subcontractors must transport chipped green waste to an approved offsite disposal/processing center in approved containers.  These containers must be completely enclosed or covered with a lid during the transport to the offsite disposal/processing center;
  • Processing of any CRB host material in approved facilities under state compliance agreement;
  • Inter-island movement of any CRB host material under state compliance agreement;
  • Sale and trade of any CRB host material under state compliance agreement; and
  • Nursery stock material considered CRB host material leaving the quarantine area under state compliance agreement.

This rule will not affect export (out-of-state) shipments of CRB host materials, provided that they are exported directly from a CRB-infested area and are not transshipped through a CRB uninfested area in the state.

If you need assistance or have questions about the requirements or if you believe you may have a possible CRB infestation, please contact the CRB response at (808) 679-5244 or email [email protected].

For more information on CRB go to CRB Response webpage:

Or the HDOA Plant Pest Control Branch New Pest Advisory:

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Attachment:  Interim Rule

The Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture does not discriminate on the basis of race,  color, sex, national origin, age, or disability, or any other class as protected under applicable federal or state law, in administration of its programs, or activities, and the Department of Agriculture does not intimidate or retaliate against any individual or group because they have exercised their rights to participate in actions protected, or oppose action prohibited, by 40 C.F.R. Parts 5 and 7, or for the purpose of interfering with such rights.

If you have any questions about this notice or any of the Department’s non-discrimination programs, policies, or procedures, or believe that you have been discriminated against with respect to a Department of Agriculture program or activity, you may contact:

Morris Atta, Acting Non-Discrimination Coordinator Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, 1428 S. King Street, Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 973-9553, [email protected]