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Over 1,000 plants, trees given away

LIHU‘E — More than a thousand tree plantings and vegetable seedings were distributed on Saturday by the Kaua‘i Landscape Industry Council and its major sponsors at Kukui Grove Center in celebration of Arbor Day.

Arbor Day is a formally designated holiday around the world dedicated to honoring, planting and enjoying the benefit of trees that has been recognized in Hawai‘i for more than 110 years, states the Arbor Day Hawai‘i website.

“Plant a tree and help save the planet,” said Maurina Borgatti of the KLIC. “This year marks the in-person return following the COVID-19 pandemic. This in-person event brings back our educational partners and the return of the popular Keiki Planting Zone.”

Among the educational partners, the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee advocated for prevention of the spread of rapid ‘ohi‘a death disease, as well as promoted the ‘Ohi‘a Love Festival that takes place from Nov. 15 through Nov. 19 at various locations around the island.

The week begins with seed collecting at the Waimea Athletic Field and culminates with a ho‘olaulea and plant sale taking place at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve in Ha‘ena on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full schedule of hands-on activities, many requiring preregistration, and more details, can be found on the KISC website, at kauaiisc.org.

The Kaua‘i Outdoor Circle is advocating, through an available petition, to have the county mandate having a certified arborist on staff to use the arboriculture industry’s best practices and management to keep the county’s inventory of trees in parks and other open spaces healthy.

“I was impressed by the educational side of the giveaway, so I signed up for the free trees,” said Megan Liddell of Koloa, who left with starters for rainbow hibiscus and an ‘ohai ali‘i for planting in her yard.

Other available specimens included alahe‘e, ko‘oko‘olau, koai‘a, kou, munroidendron, ‘uki‘uki native plants, and other noninvasive plants including the mgambo tree that artist Shannon Hiramoto picked up for its seeds and other medicinal properties.

“This is the only pearls I can afford,” Hiramoto joked. “It’s going to take about 10 years before I can make a lei.”

Some of the volunteers helping tree recipients included students from the Future Farmers of America at Kaua‘i High School, who made sure tree recipients left with a supply of organic fertilizer and ensured customers were satisfied with their new acquisitions.

The giveaway was made possible through sponsorships from Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, Corteva Agriscience, No Ka Oi Landscape Services, and many local supporters, plant growers and volunteers.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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