Although koa forests once covered the islands, these forests were often cleared for ranches. Further, the trees were grazed and trampled by both feral and domestic cattle for decades. In the last half of the 20th century, many of the remaining stands of koa were cut for lumber. As a result, Hawaii’s koa forests have been much diminished.
Paniolo Tonewoods, in which PRT is a partner, is working with scientists, nurseries, ranches, and other organizations in Hawaii to find ways to responsibly harvest as well as propagate koa. It is our hope that these efforts will yield both wood for guitars and larger, more robust native forests on the Hawaiian islands.