The National Register of Big Trees, which recognizes the biggest trees of hundreds of species, gave six Hawaii trees — including three on Hawaii Island — national titles, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The Big Island recognitions include the hau tree, or sea hibiscus, found on the grounds of Hulihee Palace in Kailua-Kona; acacia koa located within the Kona Hema Preserve in South Kona; and manele, or soapberry wingleaf, found at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Bird Park/Kipuka Puaulu Trail, according to the department.
The hau and manele are accessible to the public, the department added. The koa tree isn’t because the preserve does not allow public access.
Other trees in Hawaii that received titles include an aalii at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens on Maui and two coconut trees within Kapuaiwa Coconut Beach Park on Molokai, according to the department. A total of 21 species in Hawaii are eligible for the nomination and title.
The National Register of Big Trees is a program run by American Forests, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for the protection and expansion of America’s forests. Its goal is to preserve and promote the iconic stature of trees and to educate people about the key role trees and forests play in sustaining a healthy environment, according to the organization.
Each year, the organization awards more than 750 big trees across the nation with title. Each tree is also documented in the American Forests’ annual publication “National Register of Big Trees.”
To nominate a tree, three measurements are needed: trunk circumference in inches, height in feet and average crown spread in feet. Please 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 by email to Sheri.S.Mann@hawaii.gov.
Specific measurement requirements and guidelines for nominating a tree can also be found at the American Forests website at americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree.
For more information, and to view full information about each 2012 recognized tree, visit hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/forestry/big-trees/.