Taking care of trees

10 09 2018

No time to second guess a hurricane or a tropical storm, here at the studio we’re grateful Rocky and his 6-member crew of Ohana Tree Services were able to trim three large trees today, prior to Hurricane Olivia’s visit to Hawai‘i.

They did a great job, cleaned up all the debris, and hauled it away. We traded cooling shade for better air flow around the property and a lot more daylight. Whether Olivia blows strongly or not, it was time for the trimming. We got a great deal from this professional company with a price that was 37% of the next lowest bid.

Now the kou looks like a lollipop and is without its orange-hued lei flowers for a while. Thankfully the avocado was finished bearing its last three fruit for the season. Hopefully the mango will get the message and give us a crop for next time. As for the Maafala breadfruit, Rocky said to wait until the fruits are ready, and then he will come back to help harvest the tree and trim it at the same time.

Two climbers in the mango

Mango tree after trimming looks like a coat rack

Avocado tree after trimming

Kou tree after trimming has a few leaves remaining

We love our trees.

~ Rebekah


Breadfruit Ma‘afala

20 04 2018

While the inspiration for my latest art was a leaf from the Ma‘afala breadfruit tree outside my window, the finished pieces look little like the actual plant.

The leafy model

My medium—hand-dyed tissue paper collage—lends itself to abstract images. It is tricky to determine the final color of a section that has been layered with the tissue, and the final result is rarely what the artist had in mind in the beginning. When stuck in the creating process, my teacher the late Susan Rogers-Aregger would say, “Glue another paper over it!” But because of all that, surprising results of color and luminescence can be had.

Several folks commented they liked a preview of the finished collages that I posted as photos on social media just before I took them to the frame shop. I was so excited to finish and show them. I admit they were a tad tacky from the final varnish. Framers don’t like that, but this time it was darn near dry!

The actual dimensions are 22″ x 28″ each, and the two were designed as a diptych to hang together, yet each panel can stand alone. I started with a palette of greens and reds and soon changed it to  a triad of complementary colors: violet, green, and orange. I haven’t even given the collages a title yet. Hmmm, maybe it will be “Breadfruit” and “Ma‘afala.”


Dried and fallen

Home harvest. Lonoikamakahiki!

23 11 2016

From the studio garden and the neighbors’ gardens—this morning’s harvest of ulu (breadfruit Maafala v.), maiʻa (banana), avocado, and calamansi (a citrus). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

“Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.”
– Henry Alford, 1810-1871

I will plant ʻulu for food and shade

18 03 2012

My intention of buying this breadfruit plant from ʻUlu Rockys Nursery is to put it into the ground and have it flourish into a beautiful tree that will provide food and shade for us. This is the clonally propagated Maʻafala variety that requires 10 ft. x 10 ft. of space and will stay compact and productive with proper pruning. Please click on the links in the text for more information about this wonderful plant breadfruit.

Micropropagation technology has been developed to produce breadfruit plants (Artocarpus altilis), or ʻulu, that are healthy and free of disease, I learned yesterday at an engaging workshop at the Bishop Museum.

Dr. Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, spoke to describe how new methods of propagation, and cooperation with NGOs and the distribution company Cultivaris, now make it possible to distribute plants worldwide and become part of the solution to feeding the hungry.

The Breadfruit Institute promotes the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation.

Other highlights: author Craig R. Elevitch, who spoke on agroforestry and food security; and speaker Ian Cole, who spoke on how to grow and maintain ʻulu. Ian Cole cares for the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s breadfruit tree collection in Hana, Maui.

Other useful links:

the Hoʻoulu ka ʻUlu project, and the Breadfruit Cookbook.

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

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