The most magnificent of the island trees, known as the king of the Hawaiian forest was, and still is the Koa. It is the tallest, and in the opinion of many, the most beautiful of the native trees, it ranks among the oldest tree species in Hawaii and is definitely the most valuable.
Koa was once abundant. Today it is becoming increasingly scarce. The future may see Koa wood sold in the manner of diamonds! The original half million acres of Koa forests has been reduced to perhaps less than 17,000 acres, most of that being on the Big Island. Of the original "first growth" Koa, there are probably no more than 100 maginificent old trees left.
Koa trees are found nowhere else in the world. Koa often displays a grain with a striking coloration that varies from pale blond to deep chocolate brown. Perhaps one out of four or five hundred Koa trees will yield what is called "curly" grain, the most prized of all Koa woods for furniture, cabinetry and woodcrafts.
Few Koa trees are left along highways, most are found in the forest and inland first growth forest.
Koa items are treasured as heirlooms and was once only available for Hawaiian Royalty. It is a cherished wood to many.
The Koa is a treasure in the forest. It's existence provides for a richness of life that is uniquely Hawaiian