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Department of Parks and Recreation
Lester K.C. Chang, Director
Richard T. Haru, Deputy Director

1000 Uluohia Street,
Suite 309
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Phone: (808) 768-3003
Fax: (808) 768-3053
Exceptional Tree Program


ACT 105 The Exceptional Tree Act

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 Act 105 - 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.

The County Arborist Advisory Committees are mandated the following powers and duties:

  • Research, prepare and recommend to the city council exceptional trees to be protected by City ordinance or regulation.
  • Advise property owners relative to the preservation and enhancement of exceptional trees.
  • Recommend to the City Council appropriate protective ordinances, regulations and procedures.
  • Review all actions deemed by the City Council to endanger exceptional trees.

The Arborist Advisory Committee of the City and County of Honolulu

In the City and County of Honolulu, the Arborist Advisory Committee is overseen by the Department of Parks and Recreation's Division of Urban Forestry. The committee meets monthly with meetings announced one week prior by the City Clerk's Office. The nine member committee is appointed by the Mayor and includes:

  • Director of the Department of Planning and Permitting (ex officio)
  • One certified arborist
  • One landscape architect
  • Six individuals selected for their experience in urban forestry, community beautification, or ecological sciences

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 (36KB 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.

Prune an Exceptional Tree on O'ahu

Exceptional trees require an approval permit prior to tree work being done. Complete the Application for Exceptional Tree Crown and/or Root Pruning  (80KB PDF) and mail a copy with an original signature to:

Arborist Advisory Committee
3902 Paki Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815

City and County of Honolulu Exceptional Tree Ordinance

To access the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Chapter 41, Article 13 Protective Regulations for Exceptional Trees including the Register of Exceptional Trees on O'ahu, click the following link:

Tax Deduction for Exceptional Tree Maintenance

To access H.B. No 1848 which allows an individual tax deduction of up to $3,000 once in a three year period for expenditures paid to maintain an Exceptional Tree, click:

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Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 05, 2010
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010