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Thread: Koa Trees

  1. #1
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    Default Koa Trees

    I've read conflicting things about using the wood from koa trees. On the one hand, they say that koa trees cannot be cut down. Builders can only use trees that have dropped to the ground for some natural reason.

    On the other hand, I've read stories about people planting thousands of koa trees. This includes Joe Suoza of Kanile'a who has planted hundreds of koa trees for use in future ukuleles. Maybe you can cut down a koa if you planted it yourself? So, what's the story?

    Koa Tree.jpg
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
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    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  3. #3
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    Thanks. Interesting.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #4
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    Indeed I find the question of Koa supply interesting. It looks like most ukulele builders have moved to two-piece backs and sides even for soprano size due to dwindling supply of large trees. So I am always surprised at the large number of Koa guitars using much larger pieces of wood that are churned out by Taylor. They all have a funny brown colour too.

  5. #5
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    Great link.

    They make koa canoes?

    Good lord this is triggering some kind of weird expansion of my UAS to canoes....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmfitzsimons View Post
    Great link.

    They make koa canoes?

    Good lord this is triggering some kind of weird expansion of my UAS to canoes....
    The choice of strings would be critical!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #7
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    Not to mention stringers...

    I'll see myself out.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  8. #8
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    Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  9. #9
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    Koa is one of the most abundant trees in Hawaii, and is one of our 3 native canopy trees. However, most of those trees are in protected wilderness areas now, and ranching interests control a lot of the rest of the land where koa does well. For those two reasons there is a pinch in the lumber supply of even such an abundant tree. For a long time the ranches harvested (or poached) koa, but not as much anymore. If you run a bulldozer across a cattle pasture tens of thousands of koa will pop up. There is some former ranch pasture and former sugar plantation land being converted to timber plantations, and some of that is for koa. But, you have to own or lease the land to harvest trees from it.
    Last edited by bkrownd; 06-07-2018 at 02:35 PM.
    Cordoba guilele
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    https://www.nature.com/news/tree-hit...island-1.15419

    Another interesting article about Koa, note that the timescales are geological not human.
    Amazing! As for geological time, humans are impatient, and they want to see changes within days. : )
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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