Cutting Crew

Terry Oliver, a four-decade forestry veteran, has high hopes for the eucalyptus timber industry on the Big Island.

As the harvest operator and marketing manager for GMO Renewable Resources LLC in Hawaii, Oliver manages Tradewinds Forest Products LLC’s 13,800 acres of eucalyptus grandis, a hybrid developed to grow straight and tall quickly, Oliver said Wednesday.

More importantly, the tree stump sprouts after being cut down, growing big enough to harvest again after seven years, about the same amount of time Oliver estimated it would take the company to cut down the trees it now has. Already, some tree sprouts have shot up more than 20 feet since first being cut last year, and trees cut last spring are nearing 16 to 18 feet.

“There should never be an end because of the way they regrow themselves,” Oliver said. “It will be time to start over again.”

Oliver was hired a few months ago and began working at the site in November. It’s his job to help investors behind the project make money, eventually. It would be better sooner than later, he said, laughing a little.

“We’re quite proud of it actually, to come in and do this,” he said. “We’re going to be here.”

At the present logging site, not far from Honokaa, five workers harvest the timber. Since work began in the spring, the company has sent three ships, the most recent earlier this month with 6 million board feet of lumber, to Asia. Oliver said the larger logs are used for plywood core, while the smaller pieces, from the treetops, as well as the bark, can eventually be used to power energy generation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects the loads before the ships leave the country, he added.

Poinsettias, pines and presents

Christmas is right around the corner and shoppers are out in record numbers. Folks are almost obsessed with getting their trees, poinsettias and gifts for family and friends. If you enjoy giving living plants for Christmas, consider giving poinsettias.

Last week, Russell Nagata wrote about the history of poinsettias. Today, let’s focus on purchase, propagation and care of this amazing plant.

Poinsettias, especially in Kona, are in spectacular color now. Although mainland folks think of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower, for us it blooms from late October through March. So if you don’t have a showy supply in your home and garden, now’s the time to start looking for them on the market.

Purchasing potted stock from a garden center or nursery is the easiest way to establish plantings of the holiday ornamental. However, some green thumb operators scavenge the neighborhood for hardwood cuttings when fellow gardeners prune their poinsettias following the flowering season. Getting plants this way can make you feel like a turkey if you choose cuttings from disease infected plants. If you get healthy plants, you can be sure to avoid “fowl” play.

There are a number of poinsettias available. They come in traditional reds or you can enjoy color combinations indoors and in the garden if you mingle the red plantings with white and pink varieties.

Christmas trees already on sale

KUNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) – Most of us haven’t even bought a Thanksgiving turkey or ham yet, but some people have already picked out their fresh Christmas trees.

We found lots of shoppers at the Kunia WalMart, choosing their trees, a full five weeks before the big day.

They say they’re not worried about their trees turning brittle and brown before santa arrives.

“We looked in the paper and it said Wal-Mart’s got trees, and this is the new addition to our family”, said Ko Olina residents Richard & Dealine Foust.

“It’s the holidays and the earlier we get the tree, we can celebrate it earlier and I like the smell”, said Ewa Beach resident Randy Borges

Christmas trees are on sale at all Hawaii WalMart stores, except for the Honolulu store, which doesn’t have a garden center

Christmas trees already on sale – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL Home

Local Christmas Trees for Sale at Helemano Farms

WHITMORE VILLAGE — Helemano Farms, local grower of thousands of Christmas Trees in Central Oahu, opens next week on the day after Thanksgiving 2010. The Whitmore Village farm will offer thick, evergreen Leyland Cypress Christmas trees this year along with its traditional and gorgeous Norfolk Pines. Prices for all of our Norfolk trees are the same as last year – only $40 for Norfolk Christmas Trees up to 6 feet tall.

Families who visit the farm can choose their Christmas tree from thousands of Norfolks ranging from 5 to 20 feet tall and from more than one thousand Leylands. Helemano Farms, located on Whitmore Avenue, will be open every day from noon to sunset on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to sunset on weekends. We are on the Web at: and

Our Leyland Cypress trees start at $60 and our locally made Christmas wreaths start at $25. Our farm workers cut, wrap and load all trees for customers free of charge. Our Norfolk trees grow back after we cut them down! And our Leyland trees have a natural, gentle pine scent.

Several things can cause pine trees to brown

By Nick Sakovich

Q: Arriving in Hilo from Europe several years ago, we were presented with several Norfolk pine trees in a pot to use as our first Christmas tree. … We noticed that several branches had gone brown/died off. We did notice, also, some very small webs at the base, though are unsure if this has any significance? Expecting it to recover in dappled sun conditions with plenty of water and some fertilizing; we noted recently that the browning has continued, though the trees have continued to grow. Any ideas what is causing the browning of branches (we notice some of the keiki Norfolk trees in pots in the garden have similar browning)? Any advice/assistance would be gratefully appreciated as this coming Christmas is a particularly special one, with a reunion of loved ones from afar. — R & A

Real Christmas Trees are an Affordable, Environmentally Conscious Way to Celebrate the Holiday Season

SOURCE Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association

Sustainably Grown, Real Christmas Trees From the Pacific Northwest are Now Arriving at Local Lots

PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and for growers in the Pacific Northwest the holiday season is in full swing as they begin to harvest this year’s crop of real, farm-grown Christmas trees.

The Pacific Northwest is home to more than 1,000 individual Christmas tree farmers who supply a majority of the real Christmas trees purchased in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and other Southwestern states. Grown on sustainable farms, real trees are grown just like produce, nuts or other crops, so they do not threaten natural forests, a common misconception.

“Choosing a real Christmas tree is an environmentally conscious choice because of the way they are grown; in fact, many trees are grown in soil that won’t support other crops,” said Mike Bondi, professor and extension faculty for Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. “People can feel good about purchasing real trees because they help reduce carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, which benefits people, plants and the environment.”

Additionally, real Christmas trees are renewable and growers plant one or more to replace every tree they harvest. Real trees can also be recycled and turned into mulch or compost, so no waste goes in to landfills.

Parish and School News: Oct. 29, 2010


St. John Vianney Parish

Christmas tree order forms are available in the school and parish offices. Trees this size usually sell for double the prices we are asking. Last year trees were absolutely beautiful! The supply will be limited, so don’t wait to put in your order! Cost: 6-7 foot douglas fir, $65; 6-7 foot noble fir, $78. Delivery date: Nov. 27. (From the parish bulletin)

Parish and School News: Oct. 29, 2010

Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia, – Hawaii Gardening Forum

Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia, – Hawaii Gardening Forum – GardenWeb

Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia,

When I lived in Hawaii one of my favorite trees was the chaconia or Wild poinsettia, Warszewiczia coccinea. I have been trying to locate this tree on the mainland and am not having a very easy time. Does anyone know of, or have one themselves, that I could purchase?

Thanks much-


Follow-Up Postings:


RE: Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia,

* Posted by trini1 FL10 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 20, 07 at 20:22

There is currently on on ebay………


RE: Chaconia/Wild Poinsettia,

* Posted by koicool1 7a (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 7, 08 at 18:19

I have only ever seen poinsettias near christmas time. I live in the north where they aren’t landscape plants though so maybe you could find them at a local nursery.

haconia/Wild Poinsettia, – Hawaii Gardening Forum – GardenWeb