Leaving a Legacy

Isn’t that what we all want to do? To leave a legacy that will demonstrate that we were here or to acknowledge someone, someplace or something that is special to us.

While taking a break from selling jewelry at the Paradisus booth at the Arts and Crafts Fair 2014, I wandered outside to the patio for some fresh air. I stopped at a table set up with potted plants which turned out to belong to the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

The young lady sitting there quickly explained that I could buy a koa tree, they would plant it and send me the coordinates so I could watch it grow via Google. I immediately purchased one for my “soon to be born” grandson and one for Paradisus. The gift of a koa tree was perfect!

plantFrom the time of the early Hawaiians, koa (Acacia koa) has been prized for its exceptionally fine wood and is currently considered the most valuable of the common native timber species in Hawaii. Koa frequently has curly grain and striking coloration and has excellent working properties. It grows in nearly pure stands or in admixtures with ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha). Other tree species are sparse in these forests. A large evergreen hardwood tree endemic to the State, koa belongs to the thornless, phyllodinous group of the Acacia subgenus Heterophyllum.

Koa is an important component of montane Hawaiian rain forests. It is a nitrogen-fixing species. In dense, pole-size stands, nitrogen-rich koa foliage can account for 50 to 75 percent of the leaf-litter biomass produced annually. On the floor of cool mesic forests, koa phyllodes decompose rapidly; mean residence time has been estimated at 0.6 year. The abundance and distribution of the ʻakiapōkāʻau, ʻākepa, and Hawaiian creeper, three of the endangered forest birds on the islands of Hawaii, are strongly associated with koa in forest communities. Mature koa is needed for bird habitat: endangered birds do not use young, pure stands of koa, but do use the old, mixed-species stands adjacent to young stands.

While at the Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Invitational Arts & Crafts Fair, visit the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative or go to <info@legacytrees.org>

Speak Your Mind