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Sunday, April 24, 2016

THE GOLD TREE IS BLOOMING IN HONOLULU

I noticed that Gold Trees (Tabebuia donnell-smithii) are now blooming around 15 Craigside...

That is Sanju Pagoda in Kyoto Gardens of Honolulu Memorial Park.  You can only barely see it, but behind  15C is 2101 Craigside, where I lived for 32 years.

And at the University of Hawaii Law School, where my Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) building can be seen in the background with the blue windows:



That second photo above, near Hamilton Library is another Gold Tree, and adjacent is a purplish tree with Keller Hall in the back.  When I first arrived on the Manoa Campus in 1972, my office was located here.   I moved to Holmes Hall when it was built a couple of years later...actually, I had three:  as an engineering faculty member, associate dean of engineering and graduate student laboratory.  In my transition to retirement, the  POST building opened in 1999, so that is where I have been now for 17 years as a retiree, with Gold Trees right at my window.  But today, these trees are only green with no flowers.  However, to the right is a June 2012 blooming.

Below is the ceremony at the Ala Wai Golf Course when 20 of them were planted for Pearl.  This plaque was placed at the tee-off of the 17th hole.  A similar number of trees was sent to the Makalena Golf Course.  Thus far, they seem to be struggling, as they do not do well in salty soils.  I was told that several more mature Gold Trees could well be moved to the Ala Wai GC, as they are in the way of the Honolulu Rail Project.


The Gold Tree can bloom anywhere from December through June, and anytime later when it feels like it.  There was already an early golding a couple of months ago and I expect more as the year unfolds.  The iconic Bachman Hall Gold Tree sometimes turns all yellow, but is today all green.  Here is what it looked like just about a year ago to the right only partially yellow.    

  • During a dry year, they all bloom at around this time and the flowering is spectacular.
  • At maturity the tree can be 100 feet tall, taking 20 years to reach half that height.
  • The wood is cherished for bowls and furniture.
  • Can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.
  • The flowers are trumpet or bell-shaped.

You can only barely see it, but as I finish this posting, just at the left top of this cattleya, is a bank of Gold Trees:


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