Hawai‘i’s Big Tree Competition
UPDATE: Hawaiʻi’s Champion Wiliwili Tree Makes a Commendable Run in the 2015 Big Tree Madness Competition
April 9, 2015
Despite coming just a few votes away from advancing to the 2015 Big Tree Madness championship, Hawaiʻi’s wiliwili fell just short of victory to Missouri’s eastern burningbush in the Final 4 round. Missouri’s champion tree went on the take the crown of the 2015 Big Tree Madness, undeniably defeating its championship opponent by a significant margin. “Coco,” Hawaiʻi’s very own 2014 Big Tree Madness Champion coconut tree, defeated Missouri in the final round of last year’s competition.
Mahalo to all who voted and supported the wiliwili throughout the competition. Although we may not have won the competition, Big Tree Madness was a fun and enjoyable way to highlight and educate the public on the beautiful native wiliwili tree. For more information on this wiliwili of Waikoloa Dry Forest, and to learn about other native Hawaiian champion trees, visit the links below.
Hawaiʻi’s Champion Wiliwili Tree in the 2015 Big Tree Madness
Last year, Hawaiʻi’s champion “Coco” brought home the Big Tree Madness crown to the islands. This year, a beautiful wiliwili has been entered into the competition and is looking to capture the title once again. The Big Tree Madness is run by American Forests and starts with 16 champion trees selected to compete for the title, similar to the popular NCAA Basketball March Madness.
Big Tree Competition
Run by American Forests, the National Big Tree competition seeks to find the biggest tree species in the United States to promote and preserve our tree species. In Hawai‘i, our goal is to educate the public about our native and culturally valuable tree species. Currently the State of Hawai‘i has twenty-one tree species eligible to be crowned a National Big Tree Champion, listed below. The Champion Big Trees are measured based on a point system designed by American Forests using their height, circumference, and crown spread. We encourage the public to join our search for the biggest tree of each of these species. Can you find the next Big Tree Champion?
Hawaiʻi Tree Species Eligible to be a National Big Tree Champion
|Common Tree Name||Hawaiian Tree Name||Genus & Species|
|ʻŌhiʻa ha||ʻŌhiʻa ha||Syzygium sandwicense|
|Malaysian apple||ʻŌhiʻa ai||Syzygium malaccense|
|White hibiscus||Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo||Hibiscus arnottianus|
|Hibiscus||Maʻo hau hele||Hibiscus brackenridgei|
|Red Kauaʻi hibiscus||Aloalo||Hibiscus clayii|
|Hawaiian holly||Kāwaʻu||Ilex anomala|
|Kolea lau nui||Kōlea lau nui||Myrsine lessertiana|
|Hawaiian olive||Olopua||Nestegis sandwicensis|
|Hawaiian sumach||Nenelau||Rhus sandwicensis|
|Oʻahu prickly-ash||Aʻe||Zanthoxylum oahuense|
|Paper mulberry||Wauke||Broussonetia papyrifera|
|Sea hibiscus||Hau||Hibiscus tiliaceus|
|Soapberry wingleaf||Mānele||Sapindus saponaria|
Hawai‘i currently has 10 National Big Tree Champions
Click to view:
Seeking A Champion
The Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition does not have a champion for the following Hawaiian species that are eligible for the National Big Tree Program. Therefore, any tree nominated from the following list will likely be crowned a champion.
|Hawaiian Tree Name||Genus & Species|
|ʻŌhiʻa ha||Syzygium sandwicense|
|ʻŌhiʻa ai||Syzygium malaccense|
|Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo||Hibiscus arnottianus|
|Maʻo hau hele||Hibiscus brackenridgei|
Hawai‘i home to the 2014 Big Tree Madness Champion
“Coco,” a towering Cocos nucifera located at the Hāwea Heiau Complex, has won this year’s Big Tree Madness. During the three-week long competition thousands of people from around the country voted for their favorite Big Tree Champion. Coco advanced through 4 elimination rounds and defeated the top 15 states before being crowned 2014’s Ultimate Big Tree.
Nominate A Tree
To nominate a tree, contact Hawai‘i Big Tree coordinator at 808-587-0164 and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread. Also, please know your tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated).
For more on the National Big Tree Program: www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/bigtrees-search/