About the author  ⁄ Garrett Webb

UH Hilo Botanical Gardens: Learning from a world class conservatory in our backyard. By Cindy McCarty and Joanna Bloese Come visit the UH Hilo Botanical Gardens to experience and learn about sustainable landscape design.       The Botanical Gardens at the University of Hawaii Hilo, located on the east side of the campus off Lanikaula Street, has long been an attraction for students and visitors. Upon exploring the gardens, it is easy to see why. The creator of the gardens, Dr. Don Hemmes, has transformed them into not only a beautifully manicured and intentionally landscaped space, but also a site of significant educational and biological importance. While on a guided tour through the university’s gardens, it was easy to catch the contagious enthusiasm of Dr. Hemmes as he humbly reveals his masterpiece. The tour began at the brilliantly colored bromeliads, leading to the monstrous cycads, and finishing as we craned our necks to look at the lush, tall palms. The botanical gardens at UH Hilo are a hidden gem... ...

Read More →

Getting to Know our new President Katy Deshotels-Moore I was thrilled when Garrett Webb sent me a text announcing that Katy DesHotels-Moore was appointed the new LICH President. My thoughts: it was perfect in every way. I don’t remember the first time I met Katy, but it was somewhere back in the mid-1990s. I was a landscape supervisor at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and she was involved with a big new project down the coast called Hualalai Resort.  I had no idea then that she would become the Resort Landscape Director and hire me to join her management team in the year 2000. Actually, my first memory of meeting Katy was being invited by our National Guard employees to a field day at Schofield Barracks. We met at Keahole Airport, boarded the general’s private jet and landed at Schofield for a tour of the headquarters and base. After lunch, we donned heavy vests, helmets, ear protection and big-a** automatic guns and headed out to the live-fire range for target practice.... ...

Read More →

Acacia Whitefly (Tetraleurodes acaciae) By Carol Kwan There’s a new pest in town – acacia whitefly (Tetraleurodes acaciae). It was first found in Waikiki with subsequent sightings throughout Honolulu. It appears to be widespread across Oahu. Acacia whitefly infestations may cause leaf yellowing, wilting, and decreased plant vigor. Heavy infestations may cause defoliation. Whitefly feeding may also produce copious amounts of honeydew that may lead to sooty mold. The acacia whitefly nymphs and pupae are shiny black with a fringe of white wax. They range in size from 0.1 mm to 0.7 mm, so they’re tiny. Magnification is recommended for confirming identification. This pest prefers hosts within the Fabaceae family (legumes). So far in Hawaii, it has been found on shower trees (Cassia sp.) and Erythrina species.  Potential hosts include some of our native species, particularly koa (Acacia koa), wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis), and uhiuhi (Mezoneuron kavaiensis). Other common landscape plants that are potential hosts are Bauhinia, Bougainvillea, Melaleuca, Jatropha, Chamaedorea, and Pseudobombax.      A parasitoid wasp and several ladybeetle... ...

Read More →

James Tavares: The Grassmaster Interview by Hannah Lutgen I recently had the pleasure of interviewing James Tavares, owner and expert sod grower in Maui, Hawaii. Without further ado, let’s meet James and learn about turfgrass maintenance: Q. Hello, thanks for meeting with me. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born and raised on Maui. I attended St. Anthony School . I received a Bachelor of Science degree in General Agriculture in 1979 and a Master of Science degree in Horticulture from University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UH Manoa) in 1983. I am married with 3 children 1 granddaughter. Q. What inspired you to start your own business growing turfgrass? I was the teaching assistant for Dr. Charles Murdoch as an under grad at UH Manoa. He got me interested so I became his research assistant and did my masters degree in Horticulture Science specializing in Turfgrass under him. At the time, I was interested in becoming a gold course superintendent. Q. How long have you been... ...

Read More →

Learn from the arboriculture expert: Ernest H Rezents. Interview by Hannah Lutgen, CTAHR extension agent Maui I recently had the pleasure to interview Ernest Rezents, a renowned arborist in Maui County and author of Maui County Planting Plan. Let’s meet Ernest and learn about arboriculture in Hawaii. This interview was lightly edited for content. Hello, thanks for meeting with me. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born and reared in Maui. I attended St. Anthony’s school for 12 years and  The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH Mānoa)  for 5 years where I studied education.  I taught math and science at Honoka‘a and Waipahu High School. I went back to the UH Mānoa  and took physics and biology. Then I taught technical physics, trade science and electricity to train people to become journeyman electricians at Maui Technology School. Then I studied botany UH Mānoa. I returned to Maui and taught botany, physics, trade science  part time, and electricity at night for the apprenticeship program at the... ...

Read More →

Saving Native Species with Teamwork! Hawai‘i’s Plant Extinction Prevention Program saves rare native plants through team- work. When the last remaining individuals of a rare plant species are dis- covered, they can be protected, propagated, and planted back out into secure areas to reclaim their role in native ecosystems. Hawai‘i’s Plant Extinction Prevention Program saves rare native plants through team- work. When the last remaining Without this intervention, more native plants would have gone extinct. The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated land masses on Earth. This isolation has created a biological hotspot where approximately 90% of the native flora is endemic (found nowhere else in the world). Hawai‘i’s unique flora is at risk of extinction, primarily due to the ongoing impacts of invasive alien species. Now, Hawai‘i has the regrettable distinction of being “the endangered species capital of the world,” home to 40% of all endangered plants in the United States. Although Hawai‘i has less than 1% of the landmass in the United States, there are 425 Threatened or... ...

Read More →

By Franny Kinslow Brewer, Communications Director for the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) Siam weed, bitter bush, jack in the bush, masigig, huluhagonoi, and triffid weed…no matter what common name you call it, Chromolaena odorata is named as one of the world’s worst 100 invasive species on the planet. So, when it popped up on O‘ahu in 2011 this plant from hell was referred to as devil weed here in Hawai‘i. Native Devil weed is native to South and Central America, the American Tropics, and the United States (Florida and Texas only ). It was first detected on O‘ahu by the Army Natural Resources Program during routine plant surveys at the Kahuku Training Area (KTA) in 2011. Following this initial detection, the Hawai‘i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment evaluated this plant species and calculated a score of 28 suggesting the potential to become highly invasive in Hawai‘i. This really isn’t a big surprise though. Devil weed has been rapidly invading lands from SE Asia, West Africa and South Africa, Australia... ...

Read More →

Interview with Larry Borgatti, Irrigation Technician, Arborist, & Landscaper by Dr. James Keach, Associate Extension Agent for Ornamental Crops in Kauai County JK: What is your current position and role? LB: Right now I’m an irrigation technician for the County of Kaua‘i. I take care of all the irrigation systems for Parks & Recreation. I’ve been doing this for about 6 years. Prior to that I had my own business as a landscape contractor. How did you get started both in land- scape and then transitioning over to this position? I went to college to get a degree in horticulture. When I graduated I got a 3 month internship here on Kaua‘i at a botanical garden that’s now closed. That was in ‘82 and I’m still here! After a 3-month internship I decided to stay. Awesome! That’s a nice connection. I mean, what do you do after graduating college? One of my professors told me about an internship in Hawai‘i and I thought ‘Go for it!’ and never looked back.... ...

Read More →