Categorized | Volunteering

Christmas tree demonstration project call for volunteers


Imagine Hawaii having the holiday tradition of getting the family together to visit a Christmas tree farm and selecting their own tree during the holiday season. Interested community members can help to make that vision a reality by volunteering for the upcoming Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project Planting Workshop.

The workshop is scheduled for 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Friday, March 18 on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

The Hawaii Forest Industry Association (HFIA) Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project involves importing and propagating seed and outplanting Douglas, Noble and Grand fir trees on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) land in Humuula/Piihonua on Hawaii Island.

These species were selected because they were determined to be non-invasive. The seeds are being propagated by Aileen Yeh, Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC) Horticulturalist and Researcher, in collaboration with DLNR Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) State Nursery staff.

HFIA has been consulting with Anthony S. Davis, PhD, Director of the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research and Associate Professor of Native Plant Regeneration and Silviculture at the University of Idaho.

Davis will be coming to Hawaii in March to further advise on seedling propagation and speak at the March 18 workshop.

He is growing seedlings from the same seed lots as Yeh and will use his seedlings to help HFIA set targets for the Hawaii seedlings.

Volunteer Sign Up

Interested volunteers should sign up early as space is limited. Email or call 933-9411 by March 11, 2016.


To carpool meet at 7:15 am at the US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station Parking lot at 60 Nowelo Street in Hilo or meet up at the DHHL Sheep Station at 8 a.m. The DHHL Sheep Station is located one-quarter mile mauka on the Mauna Kea Access Road. The Sheep Station is surrounded by large pine trees, a double gate entrance, several buildings and a corral complex. Expect to be back in Hilo by 4:30 pm.

What To Wear

The planting site is located at an elevation above 6,000 feet and may be chilly or rainy. It’s recommended that volunteers bring a jacket or a raincoat. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and sunscreen and expect dirt and/or muddy conditions. Cold drinks and bento lunches will be provided.

Volunteers will learn about growing and planting Christmas trees with presentations by Mike Robinson, DHHL Forester; Aileen Yeh; HARC Horticulturalist & Researcher; Melissa Sprecher, DOFAW Forestry Program Coordinator, Anthony Davis, PhD, Director of the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research and Associate Professor of Native Plant Regeneration and Silviculture at the University of Idaho; and Nicholas Koch, General Manager Forest Solutions Inc. and HFIA President.

Mahalo to state Department of Agriculture, USDA Department of Agriculture, county Department of Research & Development, College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources, Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Hawaii Invasive Species Council, USDA Forest Service, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, DHHL, HARC, and DOFAW.

For more information, contact HFIA Executive Director Heather Simmons at 808-933-9411 or email:

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