Hawai’i Nominations Sought for Big Trees Competition

November 6, 2011, 12:38 AM HST · Updated November 6, 12:40 AM

By Wendy Osher

Ulu (breadfruit) grove in Hana, Maui. Maui is home to one of the largest ulu groves in the state. The tree is not currently included on the Big Trees list. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking nominations for potential candidates for the national Big Trees competition.

“We hope that including Hawai‘i on the national Big Trees register will help educate and encourage conservation of our native and culturally important trees,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson.

The Big Trees program is run by American Forests, and is a national competition to find the largest trees of particular species in the nation.

Tree species that qualify for nomination in Hawai’i include: wauke, Broussonetia papyrifera; niu, coconut, Cocos nucifera; hau, Hibiscus tiliaceus; mânele, Sapindus saponaria; and ‘a‘ali‘i, Dodonaea viscosa,

To nominate a tree, three measurements are needed: 1) trunk circumference (measured in inches), 2) height (measured in feet), and average crown spread (measured in feet).  These measurements are combined to assign the tree a score.

Staff from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife will also need to know the exact location of nominated big trees to verify any candidates.


DLNR officials say it is the state’s goal to eventually create Hawai’i’is own Big Trees Program.

Nominations are due before December 1, 2011 to: Sheri Mann, Cooperative Resource Management Forester, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813; or email her at



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