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!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Makaha Valley Service Project

On October 19, 2013 the Tree Huggers went to Makaha Valley with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership and the Board of Water Supply.

They worked with the Board of Water Supply folks led by Amy Tsuneyoshi to help create a vegetative fire break. The purpose and goal of creating the vegetative fire break is to prevent or slow the spread of fires into the forested areas of Makaha Valley and the Wai'anae range. It helps to create a buffer between the forested and urban areas.
Nice shirts...

The students worked really hard removing guinea grass with sickles and creating contour lines using A-frames. At the end of the trip students got to hike up the valley a bit and enjoy the view.

Great job tree huggers! Next stop is Ahua Reef in November.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

T-shirt Orders Due & Save the Date

Don't forget to order a Tree Huggers T-shirt. Come see Ms. Kuwahara for an order form. Orders are due October 1, 2013.

Save the date for our next Tree Huggers outing to Makaha, Saturday October 19, 2013. We'll be working with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership folks again. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Saturday, September 21, 2013 the Tree Huggers worked with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership folks as well as Friends of Honouliuli. The day began at the upper elevation greenhouse built by the Friends of Honouliuli. Huggers worked to transplant a'ali'i (Dodonaea viscosa) seedlings into larger pots at the greenhouse.

Then, we ventured up the road to the trailhead. We didn't make it all the way, just to the clearing where we ate lunch overlooking Pu'u Heleakala. We took a long time because we collected seeds of native plants like 'ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha), 'uki'uki (Dianella sandwicensis), pilo (Coprosma rhynchocarpa) and 'ala'alawainui (Peperomia sp.) along the way.

We had a quick lunch as the clouds were moving in and we didn't want to get caught in the rain.

But it was a great and educational adventure for all us. Thanks to all the new Tree Huggers for coming out this year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wai'anae Kai Forest Reserve - Trip #2

On August 17, 2013 the Tree Huggers returned to Wai'anae Kai Forest Reserve. This year we again partnered up with Hui Malama from Mililani High School.

On this year's trip we continued to work on removing the invasive strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum) in the cultural restoration site. 

After lunch, we transplanted some Palapalai (Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa) that is an important plant in hula and in la'au lapa'au. It is used to treat hehena [insanity] illness.


We collected seed from Papala kepau (Pisonia brunoniana). Papala kepau seeds are sticky and were used to catch birds for their feathers. The plant also has other uses including medicinal uses. The milky sap can be used for cuts, the cooked leaves for pāʻaoʻao (childhood disease with physical weakening) and for lepo paʻa (constipation).