Trees for Honolulu's Future
Trees for Honolulu's Future


Honolulu is Hot

Trees are Cool

Urban tree canopy helps us stay cool as climate warms

Canopy cover, the amount of leaf surface area, drives the benefit of an urban forest. At only 20% canopy cover, Honolulu lags behind other cities and the gap is growing as our canopy is currently decreasing. Some cities that have mounted campaigns to plant trees, such as Pittsburgh, have achieved over 40% canopy cover.


Let's get Honolulu to
35% canopy cover by 2035!


Mayor Caldwell, Board members and supporters of Trees for Honolulu's Future plant a tree at the Ala Wai golf course in honor of the Proclamation declaring March 9, 2018 Trees for Honolulu's Future Day.
The Mayor announced the City's commitment to the goal of 35% urban tree canopy by 2035 and to plant 100,000 trees by 2025. Photo courtesy of the City and County of Honolulu.

Mayor's March 9 Proclamation.jpg

Keiki Arbor Day Poster Contest 2018!



March 9, 2018
Trees for Honolulu's Future: Growing Our Urban Forest

Tools and strategies from key local perspectives and skillsets shared by: landscape architects, developers, arborists, planners, and policy makers.

More than a conference – the beginning of a movement to reach 35% canopy by 2035


Keynote speaker Ian Shears from Melbourne's urban forestry program describes the tools and strategies they have used to become a "City in the Forest." Be inspired by what is possible - click below for Lessons from Melbourne, full slide show with audio or notes.

Key take aways from Landscape Architects:

Dawn Easterday.  Plan with Existing Trees in Mind.  “Large existing trees should be considered and worked into the design to:  buffer scale of large buildings, add shade, provide character or context, frame views, and create instant impact.  Then, fill in with new trees."  

Rick Quinn. Biodiversity in Urban Design.  “Why do we get stuck on monocultures and the same old plants?  Uniformity creates sense of identity, the plants are available, the plants fit City maintenance requirements and limit liability from dropping fruit or seeds.  However, the lack of variety and genetic diversity makes the urban forest vulnerable to disease, pests and climate change, and also fails to celebrate our unique native plants.”

Simon Bussiere.  Organize Cities though Landscape. “Existing settlement patterns and grids can be changed to better fit underlying ecology.  Landscapes are dynamic, self-regulating, accrue over time, are inhabited, and connect everything.  Different types of plant communities - self-sustaining natural remnant patches, heavily maintained landscapes, and ruderal “leftover scraps” - all provide benefits and provide a fit for varied soil quality.” 


What WE DO

Arbor Day poster contest 2017 at the State Capitol

Arbor Day poster contest 2017 at the State Capitol

  • Raise public awareness about the benefits of trees

  • Develop curriculum for schools

  • Provide information to guide tree planting

  • Increase public and private funding of tree planting and maintenance

  • Identify neighborhoods with the lowest canopy cover and coordinate efforts between government, private and community groups to plan, find resources and plant!

What trees do

  • Trees create shade plus use transpiration to lower temperatures up to 9 degrees

  • Tree leaves trap dust, smoke and pollen, and absorb polluting gases

  • Trees around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%

  • Honolulu receives a 300% return for investing in tree care!


Tree Resources


What you can do




Coalition Members