New Champion Sought for annual Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition

March 4, 2020, 7:42 AM HST (Updated March 4, 2020, 7:42 AM)
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Koa Acacia of Hawaii County was recorded in the National Register of Champion Trees in 2019. It is the largest known tree of its species in the country as reported to American Forests. (PC: AmericanForests.org)

The community is invited to find a new champion for the . Submissions of undiscovered species as well as existing species will be accepted until May 31, 2020.

Sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and nonprofit organization American Forests, the competition aims to spotlight the largest trees of native species recognized in the registry, as well as raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests.

Hawai‘i Island’s champion tree count is 12 trees, the most of all the islands.

This year, the National Register of Big Trees represents 679 species across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, the American Forests database identifies 21 tree species for the State of Hawai‘i, 13 of which are endemic to the islands.

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While new champions are sought for the database, not all identified trees have been recognized. DLNR says there are three trees that have yet to be found and crowned in the Hawaii Big Tree Competition − the A’e, Kokiʻo ʻula and Wauke.

“If nominated, one of these trees will likely be crowned a National Champion,” officials say.

To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points. Points are calculated using trunk circumference, height, and crown spread measurements. Total Points = Trunk Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ Average Crown Spread (feet).

To nominate a tree, contact the Hawai‘i Big Tree Coordinator Brayden Aki at 808-587-0164 or email: [email protected] and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread, in addition to the tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated).

For more on the Hawai’i Big Tree Program: dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/

For more on the National Big Tree Program: www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/bigtrees-search/

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