By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/23/2019
Occurred: 6/7/2018
Topics/Keywords: #Hawaii #Hosmer'sGrove #Maui #Travel Page Views: 145
Hosmer's Grove is an example of experimental forestation from Hawaii's territorial days.

Keith and I woke to the tranquility of a high mountain morning deep in the woods. Back in Hawaii's territorial days, ranchers and lumbermen had pretty much stripped the slopes of Haleakala of all their native ground cover. As a result the rich soil on the slopes began to erode into the sea. 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 Haleakalā National Park.

This was our first morning with unfamiliar camping equipment, but it had been well-packed and well-explained so in no time I had made our usual at-home breakfast of scrambled eggs. We then proceeded to take a morning stroll through the grove's 100-year-old trees.

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By now the sun had risen to illuminate the summit (our next destination).

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Keith Jim

Done with our hike, we returned to our camper to continue to the very top of Mount Haleakalā.

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