Koa

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Common Name: Koa

Scientific Name: Acacia koa 

Year Nominated: 2012

Nominated By: The Nature Conservancy- Hawai’i

Height: 115 ft

Circumference: 343.3 in

Crown Spread: 93.3 ft

Total Points: 481

Location: Kona Hema Preserve, South Kona, Hawai’i 

Range: Within the Hawaiian islands, this species can be found at elevations ranging from 200 to 6,500 feet, where it often dominates mesic forests. The largest Koa populations are found on Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai at elevations of 1,000 to 2,000 meters.

About this species: The Koa tree is endemic to Hawai’i and can be found on all the main islands except Kaho’olawe and Ni’ihau. Koa is the largest native tree species in the Hawaiian islands, reaching heights of approximately 115 feet. Historically, Koa wood was used by early Hawaiians to build ocean-going canoes, surfboards, spear handles, and ukuleles. Koa was considered the wood of Hawaiian royalty. Today, Koa is one of the most valuable hardwoods in the world.

Interesting Fact: The Kona Hema Preserve is managed by The Nature Conservancy and is not open to the public. The Conservancy’s Kona Hema Preserve (8,089 acres) protects part of an ancient koa-‘ōhi‘a forest that spans more than 100,000 acres along the leeward coast of the Island of Hawai‘i.

View another Hawai‘i Big Tree Champion:

Aalii || Hau || Kāwaʻu || Koa || Kokiʻo Keʻokeʻo || Kōlea lau nui || Lama ||        Lonomea || Māmane || Mānele || Maʻo hau hele || Nenelau || Niu || ‘Ōhi‘a ai ||        ‘Ōhi‘a ha || Olopua || Pāpala kēpau || Wiliwili