Trees & Orchards
Part of "Growing Food"
Planting trees is one of the best ways to enjoy consistent seasonal food from your homestead. An ‘ulu, papaya, banana, coconut, lemon, moringa and mango tree, when planted and cared for correctly with a simple vegetable garden, can be the backbone of a healthy diet for years to come. And if you choose to plant other fruit trees, you will have many choices in Hawai‘i.
Trees play a role in so many ways. Wood from trees provides material for stock fences, garden beds and building material. They provide shade from tropical heat, shelter from rain, windbreaks, occassional firewood, and a strong root system that prevents runoff, soil erosion while also supporting healthy soil biology.
Trees may take a few years to produce fruit but they also live longer than vegetable plants and most shrubs, and will allow you to share bountiful harvests with friends and community. Bananas and papayas are some of the quickest producers, giving you fruit a year after planting.
The key to success with trees is proper planting, nourishing and watering in the first few years of a tree's life. Sourcing or purchasing healthy, well raised saplings is vitally important if you want the best chance of abundant, delicious harvests in years to come.
The Useful Links in this Course segment focus on giving you the range of choices you have when growing trees, instructions on how to properly plant a tree or orchard, with a focus on ‘ulu and avocado - two popular trees for home growers in Hawai‘i.
To begin familiarizing yourself with trees that grow in Hawai‘i, browse the Useful Link Fruit Catalog from Kaua‘i Nursery & Landscaping, one of the many tree nurseries with a wide range of fruit and other trees.
> Back to Course 4: Growing Food
12 Fruits to Grow in Hawai‘i
This UH Mānoa CTAHR publication highlights 12 tropical fruits with market potential.
A good picture reference for avocado types with traits and harvest seasons for each avocado type.
VIDEO: The Roots of ‘Ulu
Beautiful feature film on the importance of growing ‘ulu (breadfruit) for Hawaiian culture.
6 Fruit Trees For A Lanai
Article from Honolulu Magazine on small trees that can be grown in containers for limited growing spaces.
Selecting Plants for Pollinators
How to select plants to attract pollinators to your fruit trees and flowers for higher yield.
Step by step instructions on tree planting, with tips on caring for your young tree. From Arbor Day Hawai‘i.
VIDEO: Preparing the Land for 500 Fruit Trees
Farmer/teacher Jag Singh shares the cost calculations and irrigation installation for his orchard of 500 fruit trees.
VIDEO: ‘Ulu Harvesting
How to recognize the 3 stages of maturity for breadfruit harvesting and various cooking uses. From Ho'oulu Ka'ulu.
VIDEO: Fruit Tree Basics
Excellent advice on planning and caring for backyard fruit trees or small space orchard.