Native Hawaiian forests are characterised by a high degree of endemism, including pathogens as well as their hosts. With the exceptions of koa (Acacia koa Gray), possibly maile (Alyxia oliviformis Gaud.), and, in the past, sandalwood (Santalum spp.), forest species are of little commercial value. On the other hand, these forests are immensely important from a cultural, ecological, and evolutionary standpoint. Forest disease research was lacking during the mid-twentieth century, but increased markedly with the recognition of ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud.) decline in the 1970s. Because many pathogens are themselves endemic, or are assumed to be, having evolved with their hosts, research emphasis in natural areas is on understanding host-parasite interactions and evolutionary influences, rather than disease control. Aside from management of native forests, attempts at establishing a commercial forest industry have included importation of several species of pine, Araucaria, and Eucalyptus as timber crops, and of numerous ornamentals. Diseases of these species have been introduced with their hosts. The attacking of native species by introduced pathogens is problematic - for example, Armillaria mellea (Vahl ex Fr.) Que??l. on koa and mamane (Sophora chrysophylla (Salisb.) Seem.). Much work remains to be done in both native and commercial aspects of Hawaiian forest pathology.