About My Tree/ Frequently Asked Questions
Location: Hawai`i Island—Kealakekua (Nani Ekolu Ranch)
When: The Koa or Iliahi (sandalwood) tree was planted during the rainy season which typically begins in April and goes through August. We have been seeing the rainy season begin later over the last few years. In the Kealakelua area above Kona it is common for the uhiwai (heavy fog/mist) to visit the forest with a blessing pass through. The visit of uhiwai is extremely important for the Keiki Koa (seedling) survival. A Koa tree is designed to capture water with its sickel-shaped leaves (phyllodes) capturing the mist and slowly watering its understory. It provides the perfect amount of water and protection for itself and its neighboring plants.
How: The tree was first nurtured in a controlled nursery until it is about 12-24 inches tall. Then it is planted on previously used pasture land and marked with GPS coordinates. The tree will be watered and monitored throughout its entire life.
What: Acacia Koa (Koa tree) endemic to the Hawaiian Islands that thrives at 3,000-6,000 ft elevation.
You do not own the tree, you are sponsoring the tree. It will never be cut live or harvested. If your tree dies, another one will be planted in its’ place.
Who: Under the direction of dedicated volunteers who will plant the trees.
Why: 90% of Hawai`i’s endemic forests have been lost in the last 100 years to ranching, farming, development, erosion, and feral or wild animals. It is our chance to make an impact in our environment and be a role model for others around the world. Koa is a nitrogen fixing species which means that it provides nutrients for all the plants around and underneath it. Koa is a keystone species that creates habitat for all types of plant, insect, and bird species.
What is used: We use organic soil, cinder, peatmoss and fertilizers to plant our native trees.
What do I get: After sponsoring a tree you will receive a certificate in the mail that has the GPS coordinates of the tree. You can then ‘visit’ your tree via a link on www.reforesthawaii.org or simply by inputting the GPS coordinates into Google Earth.
Can I visit my tree? Yes, you may visit the tree by clicking on the ‘Visit My Tree’ button on www.reforesthawaii.org (found under the “About My Tree” tab) or simply input the tree’s GPS coordinates (found on the certificate) in Google Earth and you will be transported to your tree.