Hawai‘i State Big Tree Program

Hawai‘i State Big Tree Program

We are excited to announce that we are expanding the Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition to include a State Big Tree Registry, providing an opportunity for more tree species to enter the competition. We are now accepting nominations for many more tree species that are native, endemic, and culturally valuable to the people of Hawai‘i! 

The Hawai‘i State Big Tree Competition seeks to find the biggest tree species throughout the Hawaiian islands to preserve and raise awareness of our local trees, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Thus far, we have had nominations from a variety of individuals, ranging from foresters to entomologists to Big Tree Hunters. Mahalo to those of you who have joined the fun!

Tree-huggers, nature lovers, and people of all backgrounds are encouraged to get involved. If you see a tree and think, “Wow! That’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen!”, nominate it! This program aims to help people learn about Hawaii’s trees and forests so whether they are out on the trails or walking around town they can connect with the local plant diversity surrounding them.

Through this program we hope that when walking past a Loulu tree you think of how amazing it is that this species evolved in Hawai‘i only. That when looking at a Hala tree you are reminded of how Hawaiian children used it for love spells and how amazing it is early Hawaiians could derive so much from trees. Learning about Hawaii’s trees develops our sense of place and appreciation for where we live.   

Can you find the next State Big Tree Champion? 

An ʻOhe makai is crowned our very first State Big Tree Champion! Mahalo to Montana big tree hunter, Mark Lewing, for the nomination and encouragement. Mahalo to Waimea Valley Conservation Manager, Laurent Pool for your enthusiasm and support. 

View the ʻOhe makai Champion

Hawaii’s 12 Tree Species Eligible to be a State Big Tree Champion

Hawaiian Name Common Name Scientific Name
ʻOhe makai  Hawaiian Reynoldsia Polyscias sandwicensis
‘Ōhiʻa lehua  Ohia Metrosideros polymorpha
‘Iliahi Sandalwood
Santalum paniculatum
Hala Screwpine Pandanus tectorius
Kou Kou Cordia subcordata
Milo Pacific Rosewood Thespesia populnea
Kamani Alexandrian Laurel
Calophyllum inophyllum
Hāpuʻu Hawaiian Tree Fern Cibotium glaucum
Ulu Breadfruit Artocarpus altilis
Alaheʻe Shiny-leaved Canthium Psydrax odorata
Hala pepe Hala pepe Chrysodracon forbesii
Loulu lelo Hillebrand’s Loulu Pritchardia hillebrandii


The Champion Big trees are measured based on a point system designed by American Forests using their height, circumference, and crown spread. Please also see the Hawaii Big Tree Program page for more information on the National competition and the tree species listed there.


Participation in American Forests’ Big Tree Competition is paused. Check back when nominations resume.