Living, breathing landmark


After a few games at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the University of Hawaii offers a diverse selection of more adventures around and near campus, including the Lyon Arboretum. With more than 5,000 plant species within a rainforest zone and one of the world’s most impressive collections of palms, this is a thriving world-class research facility and educational center. It boasts seven miles of hiking trails and a dozen gardens, including the Children’s Garden, the Herb and Spice Garden and an ethnobotanical garden, all of which visitors can enjoy. One of the more unique events to take place in the arboretum is the Albizia tree removal that will continue through the winter. Because the Albizia often suffers catastrophic limb loss during high winds and severe weather, a dozen or more of the rapid-growth, weak-wood trees must be removed from the arboretum. Damage to these invasive, non-native trees would also risk surrounding vegetation, much of which is either rare or endangered. One-hour guided tours, especially delightful during the holidays, help visitors learn about how this benchmark habitat contributes to worldwide conservation biology, medical research, maintenance of rare plant species, and the impact of environment on animal species such as birds and insects.