Last Christmas we discovered the Christmas tree farm in Wahiawa. We got to pick out our own Norfolk pine amid rainbows and candy canes. It was pretty fantastic, but our friends one-upped us. They headed into the forest reserve that year and cut down their own tree. Now we’re talking. That’s an adventure! Our goal was to do the same this Christmas, and if we saved $70 in the process, all the better. No worries, we’re not a family of tree chopping hooligans. We had permits in hand and it was all legit (permit details at the end of this post if you’re interested).
Our friends were camping at Peacock Flats on the north shore, so we decided to join them for our tree hunt. It felt like winter up there with a brisk breeze whistling through the trees and the fresh smell of pine in the air. The long drive led to two sleepy, slightly unstable children. Micah fell in love with a particular tree and broke into tears when we wanted a nice symmetrical version. In the end, the lopsided, slightly funky tree came home with us but he was happy.
Our wonderful, crafty friend brought along wreath making supplies and we scavenged for pine cones, eucalyptus, Christmasberry and other forest goods. So what if I got so absorbed that I wouldn’t let the kids add anything. They can have their own wreath next year because we’re definitely coming back.
Want to hunt for your own Christmas tree on Oahu? You can obtain a permit from the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Download the permit application here :: Forest reserve collection permit. Although, they often issue permits for bamboo harvesting or lei making, it’s rare they get a request to cut down a Norfolk Pine. Call the Makiki office for details on where you can collect and make sure someone will be in the office to help you. Then visit the office to pick up your permit (there are some nice hikes in the area if you want to make a day of it). Our permit was $12.
Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife
2135 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822
Phone: (808) 973-9778; fax: (808) 973-9781