Auwahi Volunteer Trip 07.19.2014

auwahi service trip

Auwahi I

A grove of rare native trees is born.

Last month, we headed up on the mountain to plant what many of us considered a treasure, a new batch of olopua fresh from Native Nursery. The olopua seedlings planted by volunteers here at Auwahi over the last few months will likely grow together in the rich, black, rocky loam to become a grove of tall tangled trees over the next century. Good work Maui.



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An Olopua seedling finds a new home

Olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis) are uncommon to rare trees of mid-elevation leeward forests found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Though primarily known as olopua, the names ulupua and pua have also been recorded.  To early Hawaiians, olopua was most valued for its dense wood and its use as durable handles for one of the most basic and critical tools of the Hawaiian life style, the ko’i (adze).

Used in much the same way as prized kauila wood, the light brown to almost cocoa brown olopua wood was fastened to sharpened stone wedges with ‘aha (cordage usually of olonā or coconut sennit). The stone blades were constructed from high-quality dense blanks, these prized and transported long distances from remote and renowned quarry sites such as those on the high mountains of Mauna Kea and Haleakalā. Made in a variety of sizes and finishing types, ko’i were used by the people of old to fashion everything from 40-50 foot wa’a (canoe) from trees to the mirror smooth ‘umeke lā’au (wooden food bowl).

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Olopua flowers

Our next batch of keiki olopua are ready to be returned to their native lands and we will be heading up to Auwahi again on July 19th to do more good work. Please consider joining us.

Where: ‘Ulupalakua Ranch Store

When: Saturday, July 19th, 2014, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

If you would like to join us, please reserve your seat by contacting   Due to the rough and steep terrain, WE REQUIRE HIKING BOOTS TO BE WORN THAT COVER THE ANKLE, and unfortunately, we will have to turn folks away without proper boots. We have some extra boots you can borrow but please bring your own socks. Plan to pack layered clothing, rain gear, two liters of water, lunch, sunscreen and a hat. Please clean all your gear, backpacks and boots to leave hitchhiking seeds behind.

Mahalo nō for your dedicated support and hard work.

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