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NATIVE TREE HEALTH CARE PROJECT FINAL REPORT 2003

NATIVE TREE HEALTH CARE PROJECT FINAL REPORT

Certfied arborist Arlene Taus was hired for tree pruning under this grant. She poses here with a Lama tree she has just pruned.

AWARD DATE: September 2, 2003
FOUNDATION NAME: Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation
GRANT ID NUMBER: 20031139
GRANT PURPOSE: Native Tree Healthcare
GRANT AMOUNT: $3,500

December 2003

The Friends of the D. T. Fleming Arboretum (FOFA) Native Tree Health Care Project, funded by the red Baldwin Memorial Foundation, has been completed. More than 54 tFrees have been evaluated and pruned. The work included modifications to their drip irrigation and treatment of root areas to allow optimum water and oxygen absorption.

The benefits were predictable – promoting the health of the arboretum trees. The pruning cleared each tree canopy of much dead wood, some diseased wood and branches with structural defects. Each tree has more sunlight, space and air. This will help greatly with photosynthesis and will also assist in preventing excessive moisture from building up around trunks and leaves causing fungal pathogens.

The irrigation drip hose was adjusted removing it from trunks and woody roots. The hose replaced properly out to each tree’s drip line for optimum water absorption.

The arboretum is planted on a steep slope with soil predominately composed of cinder. This causes heavy erosion that lead to buried trunks. Light root excavation was performed on all 54 trees to relieve this naturally occurring condition. This excavation exposed the parts of the tree that need oxygen. Flushes of growth are typical reactions to this much-needed treatment. Many of the trees at Pu`u Mahoe arboretum have fresh new growth as a result.

The problems encountered during the course of the project was discovering the critical extent of the stress factors being addressed:

A: Excessive soil moisture caused by drip line too close to the tree trunks.
B: Buried tree trunks / buttress roots not visible and some buried up to two feet.

Drip hoses were adjusted but not extended in this grant’s project. There needs to be drip hose extensions. The original drip hose circles were installed seven years ago and the trees have now outgrown them.

Buried tree trunks was an expected problem but not realized as so critical. Root excavation was done around the trunks exposing deeply buried buttress roots. Erosion control above each tree needs to be installed – possibly with a ring of hard plastic edging as well as seeding of grass.

Discovering the critical extent of these stress factors has led us to adjust priorities on future projects planned for arboretum care.

Koaia, beautifully prunned by Arlene.

Budgetary Changes
The original project proposal was for $4,700. The project was completed for $3,500.

Driving time as well as additional working hours were donated by Arlene Taus, the certified arborist hired to do the FOFA Native Tree Health Care Project.

Other resources available for the projects were volunteers to help haul prunings. When there were no volunteers limbs were hauled by the paid maintenance. A tractor with multi-purpose bucket will be brought in to consolidate the piles to a future mulch site. Fungicide sprays will be applied to arrest remaining fungal pathogens.

The overall impact of the project is the great improvement to the health of many of the arboretum trees as well as the overall appearance of the arboretum. More light shines thru for better photosynthesis. There should be less fungus problems. The trees are more structurally sound with the weak or damaged branches removed.

Erosion has been cleared from trunks so they can breathe. The problem was worse than realized. The trees appear healthier with new growth.

The pruning bid did not include large trees that need to be climbed with harness and ropes. Arlene was able to prune some lower limbs from some of the larger trees. Her work was beyond expectations. She was careful and systematic. The arboretum has been enhanced with this extra care.

Pruning makes for healthier trees with a prolonged life. Healthier trees make more viable seed and plant material for propagation ensuring the preservation of these valuable dryland species.

We appreciate the generous support of the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation and we welcome the board to a site visit and arboretum tour.

Kolea – pruned and irrigation hose adjusted.
Where there was soil erosion, excavation was done down to the “trunk flare.

July 27, 2004

Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation
1164 Bishop St, Ste 800
Honolulu HI 96813

Dear Robin Johnson:

Following is additional budgetary information:

Grant No: 20031139
Award Date: September 2, 2003
Grant Amount: $3,500
Grant Purpose: Rare Native Tree Health and
Propagation Enhancement Project
Contract Labor: Arlene Taus, Certified Arborist

FOFA Check No: 153 – September 29, 2003 $ 910.00
FOFA Check No: 157 – October 29, 2003 $1,090.00
FOFA Check No: 161 – November 12, 2003 $1,500.00
Funds Expenses $3,500.00

Job completed, pruning of 54 trees, in 112 hours @ $35 per hour.

I hope this will satisfy the budgetary information needed to complete the final report.

Sincerely,

Martha Vockrodt-Moran,
President, FOFA