Hawaiian Legacy Forest Tree Plantings Surpass 400,000

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Hawaiian Legacy Forest Tree Plantings Surpass 400,000

The Nonprofit HLRI Adds ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Legacy Trees to its Reforestation Efforts, Helping to Mitigate Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death

Honolulu, Hawaii, March 21, 2018 
– The nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI), together with sustainable forestry company HLH LLC, has reforested more than 400,000 native and endemic Hawaiian trees on the Islands of Hawaii and Oahu – nearly a third of the organization’s initial goal since planting its first tree in 2010.

HLRI has now added the endemic ʻŌhiʻa Lehua tree to its Legacy Tree reforestation efforts, which currently include King Koa and Royal Sandalwood on the Island of Hawaii and Monarch Milo at its newest Legacy Forest on the North Shore of Oahu. HLRI is pleased to announce this planting milestone in conjunction with the International Day of Forests on March 21, a global celebration established by the United Nations in 2012 to raise awareness of the critical importance of all forests.  The ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Legacy Trees will be available for planting on both the Island of Hawaii and on Oahu.

“The red ʻŌhiʻa lehua blossom is the official flower of the Island of Hawaii, and it has been prized throughout Hawaiian history. The wood from ʻŌhiʻa trees was used in the creation of weapons and tools and is an important part of our native ecosystem,” said HLRI Executive Director Jeff Dunster. “The quick-spreading fungal disease known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of these iconic trees on Hawaii Island, and we are working to help reforest and protect them as part of our Legacy Tree program.”

In April 2017, HLRI announced plans to create a 700-acre Legacy Forest on Kahua Ranch. This Legacy Forest will include dozens of endemic and native Hawaiian species over a contiguous mix of forest and marshland located on the western slopes of the Kohala Mountains. The original forest at Kukaiau Ranch along the Hamakua Coast includes endemic koa, ‘ōhi‘a, māmane, naio, ko‘oko‘olau, kūkaenēnē and ‘iliahi (Hawaiian sandalwood) trees on almost 1,200 acres of former pastureland, where Legacy Tree planting began in 2010.

 In January 2018, HLRI announced its first Oahu Legacy Forest located at Gunstock Ranch in Laie-Malaekahana. This initial reforestation project will span more than 500 acres, with the backbone of the forest being primarily Hawaiian milo. The forest will support over 600,000 newly planted Legacy Trees and be home to numerous rare and endangered species.

The total planned area of the three Legacy Forests encompasses more than 2,300 acres, allowing HLRI to exceed its initial goal of reforesting 1.3 million native and endemic trees across the state – one for each person in Hawaii.

Legacy Trees are planted through individual sponsorships. ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Legacy Trees can be sponsored for $90 (which includes a $30 donation to a designated nonprofit organization) via LegacyTrees.org or planted personally through the award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Tours. HLRI uses state-of-the-art radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to record the growth, health, location and sponsorship details of each tree. Trees can be tracked online through HLRI’s TreeTrackerTM program.


About HLRI: Through state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies, the nonprofit organization HLRI works with landowners to establish and preserve economically viable and sustainable endemic Hawaiian forests, protect endangered species, sequester carbon and recharge watersheds. HLRI’s Legacy Trees are planted for permanent reforestation and are sponsored by businesses and individuals, with a portion of proceeds donated to charities worldwide. For more, visit LegacyTrees.org. Learn more about Legacy Carbon at LegacyCarbon.com.