As we near the spring season it marks the beginning of the annual Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition. The Big Tree Competition is sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and nonprofit organization American Forests. This 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.
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. While we continue to find new champions for the database yearly, we still have not crowned a champion for every recognized tree. The community is invited to find new champion trees for undiscovered species as well as existing species.
Three elusive trees– the A’e, Kokiʻo ʻula, and Wauke–have yet to be crowned in the Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition. If nominated, one of these trees will likely be crowned a National Champion.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/
For more on the National Big Tree Program: https://www.americanforests.org/get-involved/americas-biggest-trees/champion-trees-national-register/
DLNR News Release: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2020/02/28/nr20-029/