Koa (acacia koa) trees, being endemic to Hawaii, were grown and used by Hawaiians for generations.
I was sitting in my yard today and noticed how large the koa (meaning brave, bold, fearless) trees have gotten in the past 6 years
Koa can grow to be several hundred feet in height and have a diameter of over 10 feet (mine are not there yet). Along with their natural resistance to salt water, they make the perfect canoe. Large heavy surfboards were also made and used.
Due to logging and grazing, there are very few forests left. Cutting of growing trees is now illegal, so any products that are made come from dead/fallen logs or private lands.
The beautiful ukulele was largely made from koa. Now, with koa being less abundant, ukuleles are often made of veneer (a thin layer applied to another wood). If you are lucky enough to have a ukulele of solid koa, you also know how precious it is.
If you are lucky enough to find a piece of property with a koa tree on it, you have just been lucky enough to find yourself a piece of Hawaiian history.