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Koa Wood

Koa Wood

Rebuilding Koa Forests with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

Rebuilding Koa Forests with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) offers local, sustainably sourced koa wood and is a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on reforestation of Hawaiian legacy hardwoods.

HLRI’s sustainably harvested koa wood reforestation program gives back to our native ecosystems. HLRI has planted 500,000+ endemic trees, restoring nearly 1,200 acres of native habitats across Hawaiʻi. Your support allows them to expand these efforts.

With its exquisite beauty, koa wood is the material of choice for woodworking, custom furniture and decor, and handcrafted art.

For more information about special ordering koa, please contact HLRI.

A Distinctive Wood That Makes a Difference

Sustainable Sourcing

All of the koa wood that comes from HLRI, either from a tree that ran the natural course of its life or from trees that are intentionally grown for responsible, periodic harvesting as part of the process to create healthy koa forests.

Gold Standard Certification

HLRI was the first organization in Hawai'i to be certified by the Gold Standard organization, a nonprofit established by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to ensure projects that reduce carbon emissions feature the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contribute to sustainable development.

Transformational Impact

We are proud to join the dozens of organizations who are helping and supporting the planting of native hardwood trees right here in the islands. To date, HLRI and partners have planted 500,000+ trees covering more than 1,200 acres of land.

A Treasure from Nature

Koa’s range of colors, grains, and spectacular luster make it one of the most valuable woods in the world. With hues ranging from light golden blonde and auburn red to deep chocolate brown, koa wood can be found with a straight, figured, or curly grain.

Native to Hawai'i, koa thrives in the higher elevations of Hawai'i Island and is a keystone species in the ecosystem.

“Koa” means “valiant” in Hawaiian, and Native Hawaiians used koa wood to craft their weapons and canoes. Today, koa is used in many woodworking and artisan items, including furniture, bowls, picture frames, cabinets, and jewelry.

Restoring Native Forests

In the 1800s, koa forests began to diminish. More than half of the native forests here in Hawai'i have been lost through the impacts of human activities including ranching, agriculture, and the introduction of invasive species.

Since their founding, HLRI has been dedicated to reversing that damage. Reforestation involves so much more than simply planting trees. Regrowing native Hawaiian trees and plant species rebuilds Hawaii’s natural habitats, where threatened endemic Hawaiian species can thrive once again.

Today, thanks to a collective community effort, the damage is being reversed, and more koa trees are growing in Hawai'i than just a few decades ago.