Mid-to-Low Elevation Christmas Tree Project in Full Swing

November 21, 2019, 1:34 PM HST (Updated November 21, 2019, 1:34 PM)
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Volunteer waters newly planted Douglas Fir Seedlings at Humu‘ula/Pi‘ihonua on Hawai‘i Island. (PC: Hawaii Forest Industry Association)

With Christmas approaching the Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center (HARC) is taking the opportunity to educate the public on Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association’s (HFIA) mid-to-low elevation Christmas Tree Project.

On Dec. 4, Aileen Yeh, horticulturalist with HARC with give a presentation on the project at the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Educational Seminar, which will take place in Hilo at the Cooperative Extension Conference Room D202 located at 875 Komohana Street from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

The event is free. Chili bowl will be provided as well as prize giveaways. The evening line-up of speakers also includes Luana Beck with Hilo County Farm Bureau; Randy Cabral with Hawaii State Farm Bureau; and Franny Brewer with Big Island Invasive Species Committee, who will talk about Albizia, new invasive species and little fire ants.

Yeh’s presentation will center on on-going demonstrations that conifer species can be grown at mid-to-low elevations, including identifying the species and cultivars that produce acceptable Christmas trees – in pots and in the ground.

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Yeh will also report on out plantings at different elevations being done with collaborators, complementing HFIA’s higher elevation Douglas fir plantings. This project’s goals are to help expand a fledgling local Christmas tree industry by identifying a variety of species to replace imported trees at different elevations.

Leyland Cypress (xCupressocyparis leylandii), Norfolk or Cooke Island Pine (Araucaria sp.), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) and Cypress species (Cupressus spp) are potential species.

The long-term goal is reduced imported container stock; reduced alien species introductions; and reduced workload of State Agricultural inspectors.

HFIA’s Mid-to-Low Elevation Christmas Tree Project received funding from State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Service, and County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development.

RSVP to [email protected] by Nov. 30. For more information about the meeting, please contact Aileen Yeh at [email protected] or Laila Jayyousi at [email protected]

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