Review Category : Landscape Hawaii Magazine

Mother Nature’s Recipe

The Forest Floor.  Decomposition.  Green, lush trees and plants.  The fallen leaves make the ground layer of the rainforest.  Although it is often a dark and humid place with almost constant shade, the forest floor is an important and vital part of the forest ecosystem. How does the concept of the forest floor relate to our landscaping and nursery practices, you ask?  Implementing the use of compost is much like that of the forest floor.  Compost supplies beneficial microorganisms to the soil, it supplies a variety of macro and micro nutrients, and it also supplies significant quantities of organic matter. In Hawaii, we are challenged with very over-farmed soils that are usually very low in organic matter, making them hard packed, low in nutrients, and hard to use.  Plants need food; and most chemical fertilizers are not able to supply complete plant nutrition…that is why the use of compost is much like the theory of the forest floor. Composting is derived through a natural biological process that accelerates the breakdown... ...

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Report Card: Invasive Species Initiative

It’s been seven years since the industry was first introduced to the University of Hawaii Weed Risk Assessment, a tool for predicting the potential invasiveness of plants. In the beginning, the green industry struggled with the weed risk assessment, but a lot has changed since 2004. In 2006, the landscape industry started an initiative to determine which potentially invasive plants have greater risk than benefit. The initiative included broad outreach with numerous meetings on all islands including the Hawaii Island Landscape Association, Kauai Landscape Industry Council, Maui Association of Landscape Professionals, Oahu Nursery Growers Association, The Outdoor Circle, Hawaii Society of Urban Forestry, Aloha Arborist Association, Hawaii Landscape & Irrigation Contractors and the American Society of Landscape Architects. After three years of meetings and lengthy discussion, the industry came together and agreed that of the 168 plants listed as potentially invasive, that 80% would not be utilized. The Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii Invasive Species Guidelines and Invasive Plant List became on effective May 1, 2009. The list and the... ...

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Developing Wilt Resistant Koa

In Hawaii, koa (Acacia koa) is a valuable tree species economically, ecologically, and culturally.  Koa’s natural distribution ranged from lowland to montane areas and dry to wet forests.  As Hawaii’s largest native tree, it provides habitat for many native birds, insects and plants, some of which are endangered and is also the primary nitrogen fixing species in native forest ecosystems. Koa is Hawaii’s premier timber tree and is used to produce furniture, musical instruments, bowls, surfboards, and craft wood items.  Koa has deep cultural significance to the native Hawaiians and was the focal point of many traditional ceremonies.  The resurgence of interest in Hawaiian voyaging and racing canoes using traditional methods has led to a greater public awareness of the scarcity of trees suitable for “canoe koa” and the importance of renewing this depleted resource. With major land use change and declines in sugarcane, pineapple, and cattle production, there is an opportunity and keen interest in utilizing native koa in reforestation and restoration efforts. However, moderate to high mortality rates... ...

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Lyon’s Lasting Legacy – Full of Pride & Dedication

It’s like a green oasis on an increasingly urban island, a mecca of serene beauty and fruitful research over the last century. It was a place that was near and dear to Dr. Harold L. Lyon’s heart and is still held in great regard by many green industry professionals today. We are, of course, talking about Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu. “Without him, there would be no Foster Garden,” asserted Lyon’s friend and colleague Paul Weissich. “That was the first link in the chain of Hawai‘i’s botanic garden system.” Today, that system, through Weissich’s work as its longtime director, encompasses four additional sites on O‘ahu — Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden, Koko Crater Botanical Garden, Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden and Wahiawa Botanical Garden, each in its own unique climate. Those, in turn, influenced the highly regarded National Tropical Botanical Garden on Maui, Weissich said. Weissich, of course, acknowledges the impact of that other place named after Lyon, nestled in Mānoa Valley, too. The Lyon Arboretum still shines as a bastion of tropical... ...

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Proclamation: Governor Proclaims July LICH Irrigation Conservation Month

At our October 2009 LICH conference, at the Blaisdell, while still LICH President, I called for a new committee to see what could be done to improve water conservation, especially in landscape uses, for Hawaii.  Several dedicated committee members stepped up, including Alan Schildknecht, of Irrigation Consultants, Mel Villoria of HISCO, Lanky Morrill of DLNR, Cat Sawai of BWS, and Neal Fujii of the State Water Commission. We met every month and discussed what could be done.  I was especially interested in finding ways to encourage the use of simple but effective sensors and new timers that automatically adjust watering cycles to local weather conditions.  Others who came and participated in the discussions included Richard Quinn of Helber, Hastert & Fee, and Matt Flach, the landscape architect for Pearl Harbor, ands at the 2010 conference, Elson Gushiken of Irrigation Technology Corporation.  We participated in the County of Maui’s development of new landscape codes.  We provided text for a possible Hawaii legislative resolution in 2010.  After Chris Dacus came on board,... ...

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Environmentally Friendly – Integrated Pest Management in the Sustainable Landscape

IPM (integrated pest management) is a good choice for sound solutions in dealing with pests. IPM promotes safe, least-toxic solutions to both pest and pesticide problems. What can IPM do for you? IPM helps you deal with pests, insects, and plant diseases with methods that help keep health and environmental risks as low as possible. IPM is integrated because it brings together, or integrates, a range of biological, organic, cultural, mechanical, and chemical options for pest problems. And it’s about management because you can only manage pests, you can’t eliminate them. Integrated pest management rarely relies on just one tactic, it integrates tactics to reduce pests to levels you can live with. The basics of IPM are as follows: Step 1: Be prepared, know your pests: What pests can you expect and how can you avoid them? Learn which tactics work, and under which conditions, when pests show up in your landscape. Learn about the beneficial organisms that can help you out. Step 2: Think prevention: It’s the first step... ...

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Pest Roundup

Preventing new pests from entering our islands protects our environment, economy, and health, and it is a building block to a sustainable Hawaiʻi. Here are some prevention initiatives. New Pest Poster Available The landscape industry provides our state with more than 11,000 on-the-ground eyes and ears that can help protect Hawaiʻi from new pests.  To help identify some of the most unwanted landscape and nursery pests in the United States, the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) has produced a new poster.  The poster contains photos and descriptions of sixteen insect pests, their host plants, and known distribution.  Some of the featured pests include palm-killers like the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) and coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), and the lobate lac scale (Paratachardina pseudolobata), which officials in Florida consider one of the most devastating pests of trees and shrubs ever introduced.  New detections of these or other pests should be reported to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (643-7378).  For a... ...

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What is your definition of sustainability?

Being sustainable means many things to many people. As a business person, what is your definition of sustainability? Do you practice sustainability? Do your customers care about your sustainable business practices? Have you told them about your practices? Is there a connection between sustainability and government affairs? The answer is yes there is. One of the key aspects of sustainability in government affairs activity is in using best management practices (BMPs) in your agronomic or environmental practices. Many of the best practices have to do with the protection of water quality; some with saving water through how the landscape is designed. Within the industry, many are concerned that if these practices get defined for us by others, it’ll be through laws or regulations. Some people think they can save money by close scrutiny and adoption of the right BMPs. What is becoming obvious is that saving money and using BMPs does not have to be an all or nothing activity. For example, some people push native vegetation. If the customer... ...

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