HECO marks Arbor Day with tree, shrub giveaway
Hawaiian Electric Co. celebrates the 100th anniversary of Arbor Day in Hawaii with its annual tree and shrub giveaway tomorrow, and also highlighting the book "Common Hawaiian Trees," a guide to planting and caring for Hawaii's indigenous and native trees.
Free Tree Sites
Distribution begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow, unless otherwise noted:
Waianae: HECO Kahe Power Plant, 92-200 Farrington Highway
Pearl City: Urban Garden Center, 955 Kamehameha Highway
Honolulu: HECO Ward, 820 Ward Ave.
Kailua: HECO Koolau Base Yard, 1387 Ulupii St.
Wahiawa: Wahiawa Botanical Garden, 1396 California Ave.
North Shore: Waimea Valley Audubon Center, 59-864 Kamehameha Highway; at 9 a.m.
Arbor Day Events
Sheridan Community Park, Makiki: Planting of monkeypod tree by Outdoor Circle CEO Mary Steiner and Mayor Mufi Hannemann, 1:30 p.m. today. Washington Middle School's advanced drama and band classes will perform. Call 593-0300 or visit www.outdoorcircle.org.
Kapiolani Park: Tree-planting ceremony, 9 a.m. Nov. 12 on Paki Avenue, across from the archery range. A project of Scenic Hawaii, Kapiolani Park Preservation Society and City and County Division of Urban Forestry.
Heco's tree and shrub distribution also takes place on these islands:
Big Island: Royal Gardens, Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, 9 to 11 a.m. Also at Amy Greenwell Garden in Captain Cook, 8:30 a.m. to noon. Call (808) 323-3318.
Kauai: Macy's, Kukui Grove Center, Lihue, 9 a.m. to noon.
Maui: Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Kahului, 9 a.m. to noon. Call (808) 249-2798.
The book will be sold at six Oahu distribution sites, with two-thirds of sales going to print future editions, and the other third benefiting Aloha United Way.
HECO and its Arbor Day partners will give away 2,200 seedlings on a one-per-plant-per-family, first-come, first-serve basis. They are usually gone within two hours.
Up for grabs will be 15 plants, from natives to fruit trees, to exotics and pretty patio plants. Choose from among the native white (koki'o keoke'o) or red (koki'o ula) hibiscus, fig trees, Meyers lemon, pua kenikeni, tiare and basic crotons, ti and money tree.
Experts will offer advice on selecting a tree or shrub. Free brochures will be offered with tips on siting, planting and caring for the new tree.
"Common Hawaiian Trees," published by the nonprofit Friends of Hawaii's Urban Forest, provides information for gardeners, conservationists and homeowners interested in planting indigenous trees.
The cover is graced by color artwork of blossoms and foliage of Hawaiian trees, painted by Isabella Sinclair, an artist who lived on Niihau and Kauai in the late 1800s. Her work was published in her large-format 1885 book, "Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands."
Arbor Day has been observed in Hawaii on the first Friday in November since 1905, when the day was recognized by territorial Gov. George R. Carter.
HECO's custom of giving away seedlings began in 1993, out of an interest in helping consumers minimize the risk of power outages caused by tall trees planted too close to overhead lines, while demonstrating a natural way to cool buildings through strategic placement of shade trees. According to HECO, shading walls and windows can reduce air-conditioning costs by 30 percent or more.
"Common Hawaiian Trees" includes charts that show a tree's height, canopy spread, appropriate soil condition, and sunlight and water needs. Even if the numbers mean little at a glance, line illustrations show the height of trees and shrubs in relation to a human figure, showing why you may not want to plant a koa tree on your 1,000 foot lot, and why a loulu makes more sense.
Co-sponsors of the 2005 HECO Arbor Day program are Kaulunani Urban Forestry Program, Urban Garden Center, Wahiawa Botanical Garden and the Waimea Valley Audubon Center.