Hosmer’s Grove is an example of experimental forestation from Hawaii’s territorial days. Located just inside Haleakala National Park near the summit of Haleakala, it includes a campsite and several hiking trails. The grove is well known amongst birdwatchers due to the abundance of endemic honeycreepers at the site, including Iiwi, Apapane [pictured on left], Hawaii Amakihi, and the Maui Alauahio.
Hawaii’s first territorial forester, Ralph Hosmer, imported tree species from around the world in hopes of creating a viable timber industry. In 1927 he began planting stands of pine, spruce, cedar and eucalyptus at this site, which can still be seen today in the grove. Only 20 of the 86 species introduced survived: those with shallow roots were blown down in storms, others found the soil chemistry or fungi unsuitable for growth or reproduction. A few thrived, escaping from Hosmer’s experimental forest. The Mexican weeping pine (Pinus patula), Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), and eucalyptus have become aggressive invaders and are now recognized threats to the native ecosystems within Haleakala National Park.
Jane dropped me at Hosmer’s Grove and continued another 20+ minutes up to the summit. It was perfectly clear up there and she shot this while there…