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Koa (Ko-ah)

Acacia Koa (Leguminosae)
Koa Tree
History: In the past Koa was used in Hawaiian Medicine where the bark and the crescent leaves were used in various medicinal preparations including birth control.
Location: This tree grows in the Hawaiian Islands between see level to 6,000 feet

Koa is a valuable participant in the native rain forest habitat. It is considered to be one of the oldest Hawaiian trees, and it supports over 40 species of endemic insects. Many native bird species depend on the Koa tree.
Tree: The Koa tree is one of the tallest trees in Hawai'i it usual grows 80 to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 3 to 4 feet.

The flowers of the Koa are small yellow and puffball like. The Koa tree is a protected tree in Hawai'i. Because the wood is so prized for all sorts of uses it is now illegal to kill any living Koa tree, and only dead trees may be used for any type of woodworking.

Use: The reddish-orange and brown wood is prized for many products and was used by the Hawaiians to build canoes - many of which were built from a single, straight Koa trunk. The trees can reach a diameter of over 10 ft and are resistant to salt water, making them perfect for boat building.  Koa is also prized wood for making musical instruments.  It has been used in top of the line cabinets and fin furniture along with gunstocks and fine veneers.