Crowd gathers for Arbor Day plant sale

PUA LOKE — Maile Baird saw cars leaving with plants, and panicked Friday at the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife nursery.

“We planned on coming early,” said Laura Baird. “We thought we were early, but when Maile saw the cars leaving with plants, she knew she had to hurry. There was no parking so she just dropped us off and went off looking for parking, elsewhere.”

Maile and Laura were among the initial surge of people who came to the DOFAW Arbor Day Sale at the Pua Loke nursery and seed bank.

“I found some hui hui,” Maile said. “This is very rare. Now, I have to learn how to grow it. I actually came hoping they would have awa — big awa. But finding the hui hui more than made up for not having awa. We’re lucky to have them made available, but these rare and hard-to-get items are why you need to get here early. Otherwise, they’ll run out.”

A bonus that greeted shoppers included a free puakenikeni plant for every $30 purchased.

Dickie Chang of Wala‘au Productions found a palm grown in Kokee to add to his garden at his Puhi home.

Among his collection, Chang picked up kulu‘i, kou, and the red hibiscus, or koki‘o ‘ula.

“This is a palm growing in Kokee,” Chang said. “The kou is a yellow flowering tree, and the others I don’t have so make good additions to the garden. Tomorrow, I have to get up early and visit the Arbor Day tree giveaway at the Kukui Grove Center before getting to the Veterans Day parade. I need to see what else I can add to the garden.”

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