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Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Planting calls for volunteers

Many families enjoy the holiday tradition of selecting a Christmas tree from a tree farm. You can help make the vision a reality by volunteering for the ‘Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Planting on Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

The first phase of the ‘Aina Mauna Christmas Tree Demonstration Project involves importing and propagating seed, and outplanting 1,600 Douglas, noble and grand fir trees on two acres of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands land in Humu‘ula/Pi‘ihonua. These three species were selected because they were determined to be non-invasive.

According to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, shipments of Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest have been found to be widely infested with slugs and other pests that are not found in Hawaii. These invasive species can be very harmful to Hawai‘i’s unique ecosystems.

Planting site is located at an elevation above 6,000 feet and may be chilly or rainy. It’s recommended that volunteers bring a jacket or a raincoat. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and sun screen and expect muddy conditions. Cold drinks and bento lunches will be provided.

If you would like to volunteer, sign up early as space is limited. Email hfia@hawaiiforest.org or call 933-9411. For more information, visit www.hawaiiforest.org or contact Heather Simmons, HFIA executive director, at 933-9411 or email heather.hfia@hawaiiforest.org.