Categorized | Environment

Six Big Tree champions crowned in Hawaii

MEDIA RELEASE

Six Hawaii trees received national titles in this year’s American Forests’ newly released National Register of Big Trees, which recognizes the biggest tree of hundreds of species, gave six Hawaii trees national titles.

Three of the trees are on the Big Island.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources submitted nominations for the state’s largest trees from community recommendations and the following trees were winners:

* Acacia Koa in Kona Hema Preserve, Hawaii
* Two Coconut in Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park, Molokai
* Hau tree at Hulihee Palace, Hawaii
* Aalii at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Maui
* Manele/Soapberry at Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu, Volcano National Park, Hawaii

All of the trees except for the koa are accessible to the public.

“With forests covering approximately 749 million acres in the U.S., it’s a special honor to have a tree recognized as the biggest of its kind,” said Paul Conry, Administrator of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW).

Conry added, “In a year with 14 different billion-dollar weather disasters, America’s biggest trees proved that they’re survivors. For trees to grow bigger than their competition, it usually means that they’ve been protected and nurtured over the years. And, they’ve been lucky. Having grown into large, healthy trees, they now do their own job of protecting and nurturing the plants, trees, wildlife and even humans in their habitats.”

“These trees form the uniquely Hawaiian rainforest, an essential part of Hawaii’s biological and cultural heritage. Because these native trees absorb rainfall and cloud water, protecting these forests is the most cost effective and efficient way to secure Hawaii’s water supply,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson.

Since more than half of Hawaii’s original forest has been lost, immediate action is needed to protect the trees and forests that are essential to Hawaii’s water supply and provide many other benefits.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released a plan to protect these forested watersheds and steward the natural resources on which Hawaii’s survival, economy, and quality of life depend.

Priority actions of the plan include managing invasive species, increasing Hawaii’s ability to withstand impacts from climate change, and restoring capabilities of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) by finding additional sources of funding.

The plan can be viewed at hawaii.gov/dlnr/rain and a short video, “The Rain Follows the Forest” is posted on the DLNR homepage.

“We hope that including Hawaii on the national Big Trees register will help educate and encourage conservation of our native and culturally important trees,” said Sheri Mann, DOFAW Cooperative Resource Management Forester. “It is our goal to eventually create our own State of Hawaii Big Trees Program.”

To nominate a tree, three measurements are needed: Trunk Circumference (inches), Height (feet), and Average Crown Spread (feet). These are combined to assign the tree a score.

DOFAW staff also needs to know the exact location to verify any candidates.

To learn more about the specific measuring requirements review the guidelines at the American Forests website: www.americanforests.org/our-pr…

Send measurements along with GPS coordinates or specific directions to a candidate big tree to:

Sheri Mann, CRMF
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, HI 96813
Or email Sheri.S.Mann@hawaii.gov

The full list can be found at the following website hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/forestry…

Hawaii’s Big Tree map:
arcgisonline.com/apps/OnePane/…

Eligible species for nominations for Hawaii’s Biggest Tree:

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