Local organization is trying to plant 20,000 trees in November

A local organization is trying to plant 20,000 trees across the Hawaiian Islands during the month of November.

ReTree Hawaiʻi – also known as Lā Hoʻoulu Pae Moku – helps schools, businesses, parks and homeowners plant native trees or plants that bear fruit.

The organization provides saplings and supplies to those in need and gathers volunteers for larger projects.

Last year, ReTree Hawaiʻi planted more than 10,000 trees on six of the seven populated Hawaiian islands, as well as Kaho’olawe.

Chief organizer Rob Weltman said trees can benefit the health of marine life, soil and the atmosphere.

“Like us [experience] more extreme weather events, storms, fires, the tree binds the ground so it doesn’t run off as easily into the ocean and damage the reefs,” he said.

“It sucks moisture out of the air and then cools it down and allows for a better climate for people and also for other plants. I think trees will be very important for urban environments in the future because we see climates getting hotter everywhere.. Especially urban environments in Hawaii,” Weltman said.

Tree planting activities include land clearing and other land preparation work and the construction of windbreaks.

Weltman said he encourages the planting of ʻaʻaliʻi shrubs this year. The native plant can grow in almost any climate and is resistant to high winds.

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