Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kealia Trail - Seed Collecting with WMWP

On Saturday, October 25, 2014 the Tree Huggers were led by Uncle Keoki of the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership on a short seed collecting hike along Kealia Trail. We were looking for Aulu or Lonomea (Sapindus Oahuensis) seeds that look kind of like large olives. We got more fresh seeds than Uncle Keoki anticipated. He believes the recent storm helped to bring some down from the canopy onto the trail. Along the trail Uncle stopped us to tell us about the various native species that can be found on Kealia Trail. Some of the ones he talked about besides lonomea were Milo, Ilie'e, and Wiliwili. Although we didn't make it to the picnic table this time we'll be back again for more hiking another month!

It was nice to see some new and returning faces on this trip! We look foward to seeing everyone next month!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mokauea Island

On September 27, 2014 the Tree Huggers visited Mokauea Island. We learned about the cultural significance of the place as well as the more recent history of the land. We also got to Malama the land by planting cuttings of native 'Akulikuli to replace a patch of invasive pickleweed that had previously been removed. After using the "Big Gulp Method" to plant the cuttings the group walked out into the marine environment to look for marine organisms. We found lots of fish, sea cucumbers, feather dusters and other worms as well as anemones.

See you at Kealia in October to work with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership to collect seed and hike!

Wai'anae Kai with MHS

In what has become an annual event, the MMS Tree Huggers visited Wai'anae kai with Hui Malama o Mililani from MHS. The past three years we have started off our school year with a trip to the cultural site on the Kumaipo Trail.

The students did an excellent job removing invasive strawberry guava and weeded some under story weeds around native plants that had been planted to replace the strawberry guava. We will work with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership as they continue to plant native plants in the area and remove invasive species.

Mahalo nui loa Tree Huggers!

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.