(HONOLULU) – As the spring season nears, it also marks the beginning of the annual Hawai’i Big Tree competition. The Big Tree competition is sponsored by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and nonprofit organization American Forests.
This competition aims to find the largest trees of native species and to raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests.
This year, the National Register of Big Trees represents 644 species across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Currently, the American Forests database has 22 champion tree species eligible for nomination in the State of Hawai‘i, including one new champion tree species for the state: the false kamani (also known as the tropical almond). Thirteen of Hawaiʻi’s champion tree species are endemic to Hawaiʻi, meaning theyʻre found nowhere else in the world.
Hawaii has 19 current champions of the 22 species available that were found and nominated by the community as the largest trees of their species. Three elusive trees-the A’e, Kokiʻo ʻula, and Wauke, have yet to be crowned in the Hawai’i Big Tree competition. If nominated, one of these trees will likely be crowned a national champion.
Three species remain elusive to find the champion tree: the aʻe, kokiʻo ʻula, and wauke.
To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points. Points are calculated using trunk circumference, height, and crown spread measurements.
Total Points = Trunk Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ Average Crown Spread (feet).
If you would like to nominate a tree, contact Hawai‘i Big Tree Coordinator Brayden Aki at 808-587-0164 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread, as well as the tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated). The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2021.
For a list of Hawaiʻi’s current champion trees and learn more about our three species for which champions still need to be discovered, visit The Big Tree program website which includes a nomination form as well as an activity guide with instructions on how to measure your nominated tree.
Trees must be nominated by May 31, 2021