Urban Forestry: Exceptional Trees of Hawai`i
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Act 105
Enacted by the Legistlature of the State of Hawaii May 17, 1975

The purpose of this Act is to provide for better environmental control in order to improve the quality of life in the State. The state and county governments have a duty to enhance, whenever and wherever possible, the natural environment of our State.

The legislature finds that rapid physical and economic development has led to the destruction of many of the State's exceptional trees, as well as to the near-extinction of several such trees. Further, the legislature finds that, beyond their aesthetic worth and cultural significance, trees perform an important role in maintaining ecological balance, in increasing soil conservation and natural oxygen production, as windbreaks for necessary plant species, and in retarding flooding, erosion, siltation, lateral distribution of air pollutants, and noise.

Short-sighted land development, which strips the land of its essential vegetation and trees, upsets a vital ecological balance, endangers new occupants of the land, and decreases natural beauty. Thus, encouragement of enlightened trees, and appropriate land development controls to prevent removal and destruction of exceptional trees are urgently needed. The purpose of this Act is to require the counties, who possess primary control over land development, to enact protective regulations to safeguard exceptional trees.

Each county of the State shall establish a county arborist advisory committee, which shall be appointed by the mayor and shall include the county planning director, or his designee; one member who shall be actively employed in the practice of landscape architecture, and not less than three other members selected on the basis of active participation in programs of community beautification, or research or organization in the ecological sciences, including ethnobotany, or Hawaiiana.

For the purposes of this chapter, the county committees shall have the following powers and duties in addition to those delegated by the respective county councils.

(1) To research, prepare, and recommend to the county council exceptional trees to be protected by county ordinance or regulation.
(2) To advise property owners relative to the preservation and enhancement of exceptional trees.
(3) To recommend to the county council appropriate protective ordinances, regulations, and procedures.
(4) To review all actions deemed by the county council to endanger exceptional trees.

For the purposes of this section, "exceptional trees" means a tree or stand or grove of trees with historic or cultural value, or which by reason of its age, rarity, location, size, aesthetic quality or endemic status has been designated by the county committee as worthy of preservation. Exceptional trees may be designated generally by biotaxy or individually by location or class.


Each county shall enact appropriate protective regulations which designate exceptional trees, whether by removal or the existence of conditions which lead to the destruction of such trees; provide for site plan review and amendment to protect exceptional trees; and provide for injunctive relief against the removal or destruction of exceptional trees.


The Department of Land and Natural Resources, the University of Hawai'i, and the Hawai'i Foundation for History and the Humanities shall cooperate with and to the fullest extent possible assist the counties and their respective committees in carrying out this chapter.

(Excerpts from Act 105 approved May 17, 1975)

Oahu County Arborist Advisory Committee
Dorothy Hargreaves, Chairman
Susan L. Fristoe
Eriing E. Hedemann Jr.
Robert B. Jones
Han Sam Yee

Kauai County Arborist Advisory Committee
Ralph Daehler, Chairman
Avery Youn, Vice Chairman
John G. Allerton
Francis Takahashi

In partnership with the Outdoor Circle. Funding provided by the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program,
Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife and USDA Forest Service
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