Thousands of Trees to be Given Away for 51st Arbor Day

October 26, 2019, 9:41 AM HST (Updated October 26, 2019, 8:50 AM)
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Ranger Corie Yanger plants a tree during a past event in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS photo.

Thousands of trees will be given away statewide as part of the 51st annual Hawai‘i Arbor Day celebration on Nov. 2. Organizers are highlighting the urgency of adopting and planting these trees throughout Hawai‘i in an effort to mitigate climate change.

“Although Arbor Day in Hawai‘i will always be fun, this is no longer just a fun giveaway,” said Shannon Noelle Rivera, urban forestry consultant with Smart Trees Pacific. “We urgently need these trees to be adopted and planted to help us in the future.”

Hawaiʻi has been organizing the giveaway for decades, but the need has drastically increased in recent years. According to the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), Honolulu has lost more than 76,600 trees in just four years, but has 7,924 acres of land in communities and urban areas that could be planted with new saplings.

Trees may be one of the most accessible and affordable defenses against climate change.

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“If we act now, [we] could cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by up to 25% to levels last seen almost a century ago,” said Professor Tom Crowther, senior author of a 2019 study published in Science, which discusses global tree restoration potential. The study said planting trees is “the most effective climate change solution to date.”

The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program will be supporting Arbor Day tree giveaways statewide.

Arbor Day plant sales on Hawaiʻi Island:

  • Hilo – DOFAW Baseyard at 19 East Kawili Street, until 1 p.m.
  • Kamuela – DOFAW Tree Nursery at 66-1220 Lalamilo Farm Road #A, until 1 p.m.

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