Big Tree: Olopua
Common Name: Hawaiian Olive
Scientific Name: Nestegis sandwicensis
Year Nominated: 2013
Nominated By: Elliot Parsons- Pu’u Wa’awa’a
Height: 32 ft
Circumference: 204.52 in
Crown Spread: 42.58 ft
Total Points: 247
Location: Pu’u Wa’awa’a Forest Reserve, Hawai’i
Range: Olopua can be found growing in dry and mesic forests at elevations from near sea level to more than 3,000 feet.
About this species: This species is endemic to Hawai’i and can be found on all major islands. Olopua grow at elevations between 30 to 1,300 meters in coastal and mixed mesic forests, as well as dry forests. The strong and durable hardwood of the Olopua tree was used by early Hawaiians to build tools, including spears, digging sticks, adze handles, and daggers. Wood of the Olopua tree was also used in housing construction. This species was also a preferred firewood due to its intense flame.
Interesting Fact: Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve covers 35,000 acres of land on the leeward side of Hawaiʻi Island, ranging in elevation from 6,500 feet to sea level at Kiholo Bay. This ahupuaʻa is managed as a State Forest Reserve in the mauka side and a State Park in the makai lands. The Nene goose (Hawaiʻi State Bird), hibiscus Ma‘o hau hele (Hawaiʻi State Flower), and many other endemic species call Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a home.
View another Hawai‘i Big Tree Champion:
A‘ali‘i || 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