Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kuaokala Road

On Saturday, April 21, 2014 the Tree Huggers went on a road trip across the Wai'anae Mountain range with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership.

We traveled from the Wai'anae side up Kuaokala Road and exited on the north shore. The experience was a unique four wheel drive trip across the mountain for the few Tree Huggers who dared to venture. The experience was unique because the road is closed to those without security clearance and/or a special permit. We saw several jeeps along the way of those likely out for a drive or possibly headed to Peacock Flats to camp.

While on the ride, we collected seeds from many native plants. The seeds will be germinated and the plants grown in the campus greenhouse for out-planting in the Wai'anae Mountains as part of the WMWP's reforestation projects.

Seeds we collected included those from species like 'a'ali'i (Dodonaea viscosa), 'uhaloa (Waltheria indica), 'ilima (Sida fallax), and ko'oko'olau (Bidens torta). While we spent most of our time collecting at one location, we did drive-by collections when we saw mature fruits along the road.

We had a great adventure, with mostly-dry road conditions and look forward to next month's trip which will be in the Wai'anae Mountains again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Makua Kea'au

On March 8, 2014 the Tree Huggers ventured to Makua Kea'au Forest Reserve to collect seeds with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership.

The hike was very quick up to a patch of wiliwili trees (Erythrina sandwicensis) where we hunted for tiny orange "Easter eggs" of wiliwili seeds.

The endemic wiliwili had been attacked by a non-native gall wasp but this patch seemed to be doing well post-biocontrol efforts. While we did not get very many seeds, recruitment of seedlings within the patch was fairly prevalent.

Some groups of Tree Huggers helped to collect 'Ilima (Sida falax) seeds, too. 'Ilima is a small shrub in the hibiscus family with small black to brown seeds in little dehiscent capsules.

Unfortunately, the area was covered with an non-native weedy species (Leonitis sp.), potentially shading out a lot of native ground cover and understory species.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kealia Trail

After a long winter break from Tree Hugging, we ventured out for a hike. On Saturday January 25, 2014 the tree huggers hiked up to the picnic table on Kealia Trail.

 It was a nice and cool winter day. The 'anunu (Sicyos hispidus) was flourishing and the Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) leaves were nice dark green.

However, some of the Wiliwili seemed to still be under attack by the invasive gall wasp (see the link below for more info about the gall wasp).
Mr Horstman flexed his tree muscles and lifted a really big log!

Tree Huggers found lots of creatures along the way that included caterpillars, ladybugs, grasshoppers, butterflies, and spiders.

Ellis and Allyson showed their tree hugger pride!

Thanks to Donald's grandpa for being a chaperone and Mrs. T for letting us use her van to transport the tree huggers! See you in February!

Link about Invasive Gall Wasp:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ahua Reef

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, the Tree Huggers visited Ahua Reef on Hickam. Ahua Reef is very near the reef runway so we could see and hear airplanes landing the entire time.They got up close and personal with the invasive coastal plant pickleweed and the creatures living among it in the sand. Some students even found some scorpions and were brave enough to hold them...using gloves of course!

After clearing pickleweed from a designated area students planted 70 native plants from three species, 'Ilima (Sida fallax), Naupaka kahakai (Scaevola sericea), and Naio (Myoporum sandwicense).
The trip was a unique experience and hopefully next time any of the huggers fly over Ahua Reef in a plane they can look down and tell their parents "Look at that native plant...I planted it"
Good job Tree Huggers!