Thursday | May 28, 2015
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Nominations sought for outstanding trees

Think you have a champion candidate for American Forests’ National Big Tree Program?

Across the nation, anyone can nominate a big tree. Currently 21 eligible species are available for nominations in Hawaii.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources invites the public to help the 50th state compete in The Big Tree Program, which seeks the largest trees of specific species to be named National Champions.

American Forests’ Fall 2012 National Register of Big Trees represents 780 National Champion trees. There are currently 870 tree species eligible for nomination in the national program and over 200 species without champions.

Last year, six trees from Hawaii gained national titles, including a koa in Kona Hema Preserve, two coconut trees in Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park on Molokai, a hau at Hulihe‘e Palace in Kailua-Kona, an ‘a‘ali‘i at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, and a manele at Kipuka Puaulu in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

“These trees form the uniquely Hawaiian rain forest, 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 Aila Jr., DLNR chairman.

The state of Hawaii is looking forward to taking part again in the Big Tree Program and is inviting the public to submit nominations for candidates of the following species: Koa acacia, wiliwili, ohia ha, ohia ai; white hibiscus, hibiscus arnottianus, hibiscus brackenridgei, hibiscus aloalo, hibiscus clayii; Hawaiian holly; Kolea lau nui; Hawaiian olive, papala kepau, Hawaiian sumach, soapberry, mamane, Oahu prickly-ash; paper mulberry, wauke; coconut niu; sea hibiscus; soapberry wingleaf; hopbush ‘a‘ali‘i.

To nominate a tree, you need to provide three measurements: trunk circumference (inches), height (feet), and average crown spread (feet). These are combined to assign the tree a score. Project coordinators also need to know the exact location to verify any candidates. If you have photographs of the tree, please include those in your submission.

American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forests. Since 1990, the organization has planted more than 40 million trees. Volunteers work to restore watersheds to help provide clean drinking water, and replant forests destroyed by human action and by natural disasters.

To learn more about the specific measuring requirements, please review the guidelines at the American Forests website: http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree/big-tree-measuring-g.... Please send your measurements by Feb. 1, along with GPS coordinates or specific directions to a candidate big tree to: Hannah.A.Bergemann@hawaii.gov or Hannah Bergemann, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 325, Honolulu HI 96813.

 

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