Hala Tree (Pandanus tectorius)

Hala Tree (Pandanus tectorius)

The Pandanus Tectorius, otherwise known as the Hala tree, is deeply connected to Hawaiian history. It has a very distinctive look thanks to its long, 2-inch wide and 2-feet long leaves that resemble blares, and the spines coming out of their edges.

Female trees produce large fruits that almost look like pineapples, while the males bloom with small white flowers.

How Does It Grow?

The tree grows to 20 feet tall and is known to have a wide spread, sometimes of even 40 feet because of its big leaves. The Hala tree grows at a medium rate and can start bearing fruit after 10 years or so, living up to approximately 60 years.

A Perfect Tree for the Hawaiian Environment

It’s no surprise that the Hala Tree is one of the most commonly found trees in Hawaii. The tree requires the area’s salty, sandy soils in order to thrive. It's known to stabilize the soil along the coastline where salt may kill the other plants.

The Hala tree is also rather low maintenance. Since it prefers a warm climate, it has minimal watering requirements. It only needs to be watered in the first few months until the root system develops. This tree is also self-pruning for the most part. However, it should still be monitored at first to remove the dead leaves and ensure a longer life.

The trees should be planted 20-30 feet apart from other trees or major buildings unless you are planning to control its foliage. In that case, you can plant the tree at around 15 feet from other trees or buildings.

How It Got to Hawaii

The Hala Tree brought itself to Hawaii as the Hala seeds floated through the ocean and landed on the shore here, becoming an important part of Hawaiian culture.


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