Christmas trees sprouting on the slopes of Mauna KeaUPDATED 7:49 PM HST Dec 20, 2013Video Transcript
Christmas trees might be home grown... On the Big Island! There's a project underway to establish a Christmas tree farm there. KITV-4's Jill Kuramoto shows us what's sprouting up on the slopes of Mauna Kea. It's a business that's truly starting from the ground up... 5:48:11 SO WHEN WE SOW THESE SEEDS WE'LL PUT 2 TO 3 SEEDS PER TUBE. 5:48:15 The Douglas and Noble Fir seedlings... Being carefully nurtured here at the state nursery in Kamuela... In 5 to 6 years... Should be ready for YOUR living room. 2:22 HOPEFULLY BY GROWING THE TREES HERE, WE WON'T HAVE TO BRING THEM IN. 2:26 And that would mean no more free rides for unwanted pests like wasps, slugs and frogs. NAT SOUND - shaking Matson trees The project -- funded by a Department of Ag grant -- has allowed the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center to buy the seeds for 16-hundred trees. Seeds that are sure to be disease-free. 5:57 AND THESE WERE SOWN ABOUT JAN OF LAST YEAR, SO THIS IS ALMOST A YEAR OLD AND THIS IS ABOUT THE SIZE WE WANT THEM TO BE WHEN WE PUT THEM OUT TO PLANT. 6:07 When they're ready... the seedlings are transported to a 2-acre lot in Humu-ula ... Elevation 65-hundred feet, where conditions are similar to what these firs are used to. They're protected from cattle, pigs and birds... But not vog -- apparently Douglas firs don't like vog. 5:50:43 WATERING TREES But the trees planted in 2002 are surviving and growing -- giving researchers hope. 4:21 SO WE KNOW IT CAN GROW BUT IT'S STILL A CHALLENGE TO FIND WHICH IS THE CORRECT SEED SOURCE. 4:30 BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE SEED SOURCE THAT IS ADAPTIVE OR WILL DO WELL IN YOUR SITE. 4:35 If the project succeeds... It would branch off in two ways. Farming jobs for beneficiaries of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, whose land is being used for planting. And true grown-in-Hawaii christmas trees at lower prices.. Jill Kuramoto, KITV4 News.