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  • Writer's pictureShaila Campbell

Exceptional Tree Program

Did you know the City & County has an Exceptional Tree Program?

This program was established in 1975, the Hawai'i State Legislature found that rapid

development had led to the destruction of many of the State's exceptional trees and passed Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 58 (Act 105, Session Laws of Hawaii 1975) - The Exceptional Tree Act. The Act recognizes that trees are valuable for their beauty and they perform crucial ecological functions. It mandates each county to establish a County Arborist Advisory Committee which enacts regulations to protect trees of exceptional stature. Each county has its own program, set of rules and operating guidelines.

Tax Deduction for Exceptional Tree Maintenance

To access HRS 235-19 which allows an individual tax deduction of up to $3,000 per tree once in a three-year period for expenditures paid to maintain an Exceptional Tree, click the following link:

Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), Chapter 235 Income Tax Law, Section 235-19 Exceptional Trees; tax deduction:

Exceptional Tree Criteria

To be considered for exceptional tree status, the tree or grove of trees must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Historic or Cultural Value

  • Age

  • Rarity

  • Location

  • Size

  • Esthetic Quality

  • Endemic Status

Nominate an Exceptional Tree on O'ahu

To nominate a tree or grove of trees complete the Exceptional Tree and Palm Nomination Application (57 KB PDF). The committee will review the application, inspect the tree and make a recommendation to the City Council if it deems the tree worthy of exceptional status. Please mail a copy with an original signature to: Arborist Advisory Committee 3902 Paki Avenue Honolulu, HI 96815 For more information, please contact the Arborist Advisory Committee at (808) 971-7151.


Tamarind Tree, Tamarindus indica, Judiciary Building

Nawa Tree, Sterculia apetala, Queen's Medical Center


Source: Department of Parks and Recreation, Exceptional Tree Program.


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