(BIVN) – The discovery of an alligator lizard in Hilo last weekend was a startling reminder of the possible perils of importing Christmas trees.
It is good timing for the nonprofit Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association, which will be holding an educating seminar on its locally-grown Christmas Tree Project at the upcoming Hawaiʻi Farm Bureau annual membership meeting in Hilo.
From the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association:
Community members are invited to the upcoming Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Educational Seminar. Aileen Yeh, Horticulturalist with the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC), will give a presentation on Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association’s (HFIA) Mid-to-Low Elevation Christmas Tree Project. The meeting is set for Wednesday, December 4 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Cooperative Extension Conference Room D202 located at 875 Komohana Street in Hilo. The evening meeting is free, chili bowl will be provided as well as prize giveaways. The evening line-up of speakers also includes Luana Beck with Hilo County Farm Bureau; Randy Cabral with Hawaii State Farm Bureau; and Franny Brewer with Big Island Invasive Species Committee, who will talk about Albizia, new invasive species, and little fire ants.
Yeh presentation will center on on-going demonstrations that conifer species can be grown at mid-to-low elevations, including identifying the species and cultivars that produce acceptable Christmas trees – in pots and in the ground. Yeh will also report on out plantings at different elevations being done with collaborators, complementing HFIA’s higher elevation Douglas fir plantings. This project’s goals are to help expand a fledgling local Christmas tree industry by identifying a variety of species to replace imported trees at different elevations. Leyland Cypress (xCupressocyparis leylandii), Norfolk or Cooke Island Pine (Araucaria sp.), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) and Cypress species (Cupressus spp) are potential species. The long-term goal of this efforts is reduced imported container stock; reduced alien species introductions; and reduced workload of State Agricultural inspectors.
HFIA’s Mid-to-Low Elevation Christmas Tree Project received funding from State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Service, and County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11/30/2019. For more information about the meeting, please contact Aileen Yeh (email@example.com) or Laila Jayyousi (firstname.lastname@example.org)