Review Category : All Posts

Loud & Clear

While we’re all aware of a number of recognized economic indicators, probably the most conspicuous for the Kona side of the Big Island is the number of private aircraft now parking at our airport. What this means to us in the landscape industry is not just the arrival of a well-heeled clientele, but even more importantly the basis upon which to confirm a vital message to our elected officials. These visitors and part time residents will not accept a second class setting to invest either their time or money on, and they will go elsewhere in the future if we do not provide for their expectations. It is critical that the landscape industry build on this message and convey its significance to those who are elected to determine the future of these islands. If there is one certainty we need to remember about legislative activity it’s that elected officials almost always give their attention to issues they believe affect or concern the majority of their constituents.  This often involves perspective... ...

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Propagation of Ohia, Metrosideros Polymorpha Using Vegetative Cuttings

At the University of Hawaii in Manoa, we operate a fungal disease laboratory and confirm the pathogenicity of new fungi on local plants.  Healthy disease free plants are needed for these tests and plants are propagated by employing clean seeds or cuttings.  These healthy plants are required to test the infectivity of new fungi, to document early symptoms and to record disease progress. For ohia or Metrosideros polymorpha, we commonly use seeds for propagation.  However, it takes many years to produce a plant ready for pathogenicity testing, as well as for retail or for out planting for commercial operations.  Alternatively, by using vegetative cuttings, propagation is faster and clones can be made from valuable plants.  The following describes basic procedures used to propagate ohia from cuttings. Gathering cuttings:  When going into the field to obtain cuttings of ohia plants, it is important to keep the cuttings hydrated and vigorous.  Thus bring a bucket of water to place the cut ends of the cuttings in it.  If specific trees are selected,... ...

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Mowing Tips

Proper mowing height is important in maintaining the health and overall appearance of turf grasses. Each kind of turf grass has its own recommended range of upper and lower mowing height. Mowing near the lower end of the range in some species can be beneficial by causing an increase in the growth of the stolons and rhizomes, resulting in increased turf density.  However, mowing too low will reduce the amount of leaf area which will decrease photosynthesis. This will decrease the root mass resulting in a reduced tolerance to foot traffic and to heat and water stress, resulting in a brown lawn. Mowing near the lower end of the recommended range is tolerated better during the summer months in Hawaii when our warm season grasses are at their highest growth rate. Home lawns should not be cut lower than ½ inch, very low mowing at ¼  inch or below should be restricted to golf greens and tee boxes, where turf species adapted to low mowing and special professional care and... ...

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Doing Our Part To Plant Pono

It used to be that the Hawaiian ecosystems with the highest diversity of plant species were moist and wet forests.  Today, the highest plant diversity can be found in our yards and botanical gardens, and the number of plant species introduced to Hawaii grows each year.  Although the vast majority of Earth’s 250,000+ plant species would not be invasive if imported and grown in our islands, a small percentage would be superweeds that alter the ecosystem or natural resources.  Plants are not checked for their potential to become invasive when they are imported, and our noxious seed and weed rules regulate less than 100 species of plants, most of which are already present in Hawai‘i. Now, there is a new website that can help everyone make informed plant choices.  Plant Pono (www.plantpono.org) provides planting information on non-invasive ornamental plants (pono plants), to help you select the right plant for your yard.  These pono plants were selected by noted horticulturist Heidi Bornhorst, and were screened by the Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment... ...

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Exceptional Trees

Recently, 22 stately trees at Waimea Valley were approved by the Arborist Advisory Committee to be listed as Exceptional Trees. This program was founded by the State of Hawaii in 1975 to mandate each county to establish a County Arborist Advisory Committee which enacts regulations to protect trees of exceptional stature. Exceptional trees must meet one or more of the following criteria: historic or cultural value, age, rarity, location, size, esthetic quality and endemic status. At Waimea Valley, the new Exceptional Trees include two Monkey Pod (Albizia saman); two Ohe-makai (Reynoldsia sandwicensis); and 18 Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) trees.  These century-old monkey pod trees with 9 feet diameter trunks awe our guests at the visitor center. These endemic ohe-makai and wiliwili trees were used culturally by the Hawaiians.  Ohe-makai was used to play a game called kukulu`ae`o (stilts).  The soft light wood of the wiliwili is still used for outriggers and occasionally surfboards and was used as fishnet floats.  These exceptional trees existed in the Valley before the Waimea Arboretum and... ...

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Study materials donated to libraries

Thanks to a Kaulunani grant, Aloha Arborist Association (AAA), Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and Carol Kwan Consulting, the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) now has the latest Certified Arborist and Certified Tree Worker study materials statewide. Over $1,800 worth of materials, including study guides, ANSI standards, Best Management Practices, and DVDs, were donated. See sidebar for a complete list of materials. The materials were distributed to Hawaii State Library, Kapolei Public Library, Lihue Public Library, Kahului Public Library, Hilo Public Library, and Kailua-Kona Public Library, but they can be requested and picked up from any of the 50 HSPLS libraries statewide. Visit librarieshawaii.org and search on keyword “arboriculture” for a complete listing of available materials. This publications donation was funded in part by Kaulunani, an Urban & Community Forestry Program of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the USDA Forest Service. Carol Kwan is the President of Carol Kwan Consulting, a Certified Arborist, and the Secretary of Aloha Arborist Association The following publications are... ...

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AAA presents Pruning Young Trees and Shrubs workshop

Aloha Arborist Association (AAA) presented a Pruning Young Trees and Shrubs workshop for the Friends of Honolulu Botanical Gardens on Saturday, November 17, 2012, at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden.  Certified Arborists Dudley Hulbert and Carol Kwan spoke on behalf of AAA and did demonstrations of proper pruning techniques. Carol Kwan is the President of Carol Kwan Consulting, a Certified Arborist, and the Secretary of Aloha Arborist Association. [You can leave the bio off for this article if you need space]     ...

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Lobate Lac Scale

Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has requested that the green waste generated from pruning or removing a Lobate Lac Scale (LLS) infested plant be left at the site where it originated to reduce the risk of spreading this pest around Oahu. For example, chipped green waste from a tree can be left as mulch under the tree that was pruned. Smaller green waste, like hibiscus branches, can be bagged in dark plastic and left in the sun in an out-of-the-way corner of the property for a few days. The heat generated in the bag will hopefully be sufficient to “cook” the LLS. Leaving any of the green waste out in the sun for a month or so would probably work as well. Unfortunately, research on the life cycle of LLS and how long the different stages last doesn’t exist, so this is just a best guess. It is certainly better than doing nothing. LLS is sufficiently established on Oahu to be impossible to eradicate, but landscape professionals are the first... ...

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