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This week's Hawaii Arbor Day festivities feature Native Hawaiian tree giveaways

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In Hawaii, Arbor Day falls on the first Friday in November. If you happen to be in the Islands this week, there are plenty of tree-planting opportunities and green celebrations.

The Territory of Hawaii first observed the day in 1905 when Gov. George Robert Carter proclaimed Nov. 3 as Arbor Day and recommended that all public schools dedicate part of that day to planting trees and shrubs on school grounds.

Arbor Day’s origins are tied to event held in Nebraska in 1872, through which tree-planting was encouraged as a means to prevent destruction of forests. Most of the states on the U.S. mainland celebrate Arbor Day during the spring planting season.

Here’s a listing of various events, collected by Arbor Day Hawaii, a nonprofit sponsored by Friends of Hawaii's Urban Forest.

Hawaiian Electric Company’s tree/shrub giveaway — Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and its partners will give away 2,700 trees and shrubs on Sat., Nov. 5 at six locations across the island. One plant per family, while supplies last.

You can select from a variety of popular fruit trees, flowering shrubs, and native plants. Certified arborists and volunteers will be on hand to assist you in selecting plants. You’ll also get information to help you to properly site, plant, and care for your tree. For information about the giveaway’s six locations and pickup times, click here.

Hoakalei Cultural Foundation’s Ewa Beach Arbor Day giveaway — Hoakalei Cultural Foundation will hold its fifth annual Arbor Day giveaway at the Keoneula Elementary School in Ewa Beach, Sat., Nov. 5.

Interested in picking up three Native Hawaiian plants? If so, organizers request that you pre-register for an hour-long mini-workshop. The plant trio: ground cover called ilima papa (Sida fallax); a shrub, hinahina ‘Ewa (Achyranthes splendens var. rotundata); and a tree, naio (Myoporum sandwicense). Workshops are set for 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. For more information about pre-registration and plant experts slated to take part in the event, click here.

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