Featured Restoration Project
Tropical Dryland Forest Restoration Project
National Tropical Botanical Gardens, Kalaheo, HI
Ka`upulehu Preserve in the North Kona District, island of Hawaii, conserves 5.8 acres
of remnant dryland forest dominated by Diospyros sandwicensis (lama) and
Sophora chrysophylla (mamane) trees. Although fenced since the 1950's to
exclude cattle and goats, the preserve has been densely invaded by the alien fountain
grass (Pennisetum setaceum) which prevents regeneration of native plants
and poses a severe fire risk.
Preserve area inside (right of) fence 3 months after weed-whacking and first treatment of
grass-specific herbicide FusilladeTM. As no native grasses
occur within the preserve, FusilladeTM has no impact
on impact on the native vegetation. Area outside of (left of) fence is a control, subject
to occasional cattle grazing.
Preserve area 21 months after weed-whacking and five applications of grass-specific
herbicide FusilladeTM. Most of the fountain grass has
died and begun to decompose, no longer hindering regeneration of native plants or posing
a fire threat. However, the weedy alien shrubs Lantana camara are healthy and
need to be removed by other methods. In addition, rats often eat seeds of native
plants and need to be controlled by baiting.
Research accompanying this Restoration Project