The Hawai‘i Forest Institute was awarded a $40,000 grant over two years starting January 2023 from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to grow potted Christmas trees. This phase of the project includes working with Kealakekua Forest Nurseries, Forest Solutions, Inc. and Aileen’s Nursery to grow five different species; three species we have previously shown grow well and will make desirable Christmas trees (Italian Stone Pine, Norfolk Pine, and Western Red Cedar) as well as two native species we think will make nice Christmas trees (ʻAʻaliʻi and ʻAlaheʻe). Our goal is to expand a fledgling local Christmas tree industry, which will lead to reduced imported container stock; reduced alien species introductions; and reduced workload of State Agricultural inspectors. Providing the Hawaiian Islands with locally grown Christmas trees supports import replacement and promotes the State’s “Buying Local, It Matters” message.
Project objectives are to:
- Provide locally-grown Christmas tree options to replace imported trees by assisting nurseries, stores, and other vendors who grow and sell Christmas trees to respond to importation risks and supply chain disruptions;
- Produce and disseminate a guide on how to continue growing and pruning the trees into bigger Christmas trees for future years; and
- Provide community outreach through Christmas tree sales/gifting events, webpages, social media, and other avenues.
We also plan to work with woodworking students to create mini Christmas tree ornaments for the table-top Christmas trees.
Project Funders and Partners
Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) Specialty Crop Block Grant
Kealakekua Forest Nurseries
Forest Solutions, Inc.