The `āla`a (Planchonella (Pouteria) sandwicensis and P. auahiensis) are two of the most beautiful of Hawaiian trees and characteristic species of Auwahi forest, Maui. The hard wood of `āla`a was prized for its use in making houses as well as making weapons, kapa beaters and anvils and agricultural tools. The leaves were used medicinally and sap as a glue for trapping birds. The flowers of `āla`a have a faint not unpleasant musky scent and often contain tiny insects such as thrips.
Without pollinators, `āla`a are thought not to be able to self, that is produce fertile seeds. In the image of yellow `āla`a fruit (P. auahiensis) shown here, the seeds seen in the cross sectioned fruit are likely a result of pollination by tiny insects. Take home message: `āla`a trees and their restoration to some degree are dependent upon tiny insects that most people would consider dust.
Next Saturday, we continue our efforts to steward Auwahi forest, one of our last refuges for native plants and animals of leeward Haleakala volcano. If you have the time, please consider joining us.
As usual, we have a limited number of 4wheel drive vehicles and, as a result, limited room for volunteers. Please don't let this discourage you from signing up but we do ask for your understanding for not being able to accommodate everyone who wants to volunteer. And of course, mahalo loa for all the years of enthusiastic support given by the people of Maui towards our common vision of community-based stewardship of our native forests.
Where: ʻUlupalakua Ranch Store
When: Saturday, August 15, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Due to the rough and steep terrain, WE REQUIRE HIKING BOOTS TO BE WORN THAT COVER THE ANKLE, and unfortunately, we will have to turn folks away without proper boots. We have some extra boots you can borrow but please bring your own socks. Plan to pack layered clothing, rain gear, two liters of water, lunch, sunscreen and a hat. Please clean all your gear, backpacks and boots to leave hitchhiking seeds behind.
Auwahi Forest Restoration `ohana