The koa acacia is a tree belonging to the species acacia that belong to the Fabaceae family. This plant is distributed only around the Hawaiian Islands, this being the number 2 most popular type of tree in this country. The name acracia is a word derived from the Greek ακακία and was given by a botanist of the same nationality called Pedanius Dioscorides; and the word koa is a Hawaiian adjective that means brave, warrior or daring, so this name would mean brave acacia.
Description of the koa acacia
The koa acacia is a large tree that can reach heights of up to 25 meters, its trunk can measure around 2 meters in diameter and extend up to 38 meters. In Hawaii it is considered one of the fastest growing trees, reaching up to 9 meters of its total size in just 5 years if the site has the necessary conditions. Its leaves are made up of many smaller leaves that can have between 12 to 24 pairs of these leaves.
When it blooms they can do it practically at any time of the year as long as the weather allows it, and it does so in the form of round yellow clusters with a little floral aroma. Its legumes mature when they are about 6 months old but it begins to produce seeds after reaching 5 years of age, from this moment the production will be regular and in large quantities.
Distribution and habitat of the koa acacia
The koa acacia is widely seen in forests where it is made up of trees of a single species and in forests where different tree species can be seen, being dominant but in lower intensity in forests such as the Montane Dry Forest. It lives in tropical areas with altitudes ranging from 180 masl to 6 thousand masl and in places where it rains frequently, preferring land that remains moderately humid.
History of the koa
The koa acacia is believed to have reached the Hawaiian Islands after these islands emerged millions of years ago. This and other plants were colonizing the islands after they were carried by migratory birds or sent by air through the wind and even by waves from tropical islands that are part of the western Pacific Ocean and from the coastal areas of the continent. American, African and Asian, and this conclusion is taken since after several genetic studies it was shown that the most feasible ancestor according to its characteristics is the acacia melanoxylon which is located in Australia.
In this video you can see a campaign that was carried out with the purpose of restoring a forest area of koa acacia:
Reproduction of the koa acacia
The koa acacia have seeds that are very hard by nature and the easiest way to accelerate their germination is through scarification, which most of the time is done by adding almost boiling water to the seeds, trying not to cook them and then leaving them submerged for a period of time between half a day to one day in water at medium temperature. This is done so that the seed has absorbed enough water for it to swell, otherwise cut the bark a little without harming the embryo and wet the place where it will be planted for half a day.
After having made the cultivation of the acacia koa, a week will be counted when the seeds germinate and the seedling must be transplanted in bags, and then it must be transplanted in the field when it measures about 20 cm high or when it is between 3 or 4 months old. to have been sown.
Uses of the koa acacia
Koa acacia is a very strong and hard type of wood that has been used by artisans to make spears, staffs, pack paddles, and much more. The central part of the trunk of this tree, which in turn is the driest, also presenting itself in thick branches if applicable, which is used for its variety of colors that can range from a soft yellow to a dark color. reddish with purple hues. Due to the ease that koa acacia wood has when molding it, it is preferably in Hawaii since different types of furniture, tongue-and-groove, cabinets, flooring, parquet and some other types of interior work such as door frames are made with it. It is also used in the divisions of the streets in the avenues or in residential areas despite the fact that its foliage is very dense.