Hawaiian Sandalwood Hawaiian Sandalwood (USA)


2022 Sourcing Impact

Total Lives Impacted: 510

  • People Empowered via Sourcing Jobs: 4

  • Lives Supported by Sourcing Jobs: 10

  • Lives Impacted through Social Impact Projects: 500
Hawaiian Sandalwood

Hawaiian Sandalwood Santalum paniculatum

Hawaiian Sandalwood oil has a calming, grounding aroma that is frequently used in meditation.

Why Hawaii?

There are many species of the Sandalwood tree. Santalum paniculatum is the Sandalwood tree native to Hawaii, which is sustainably sourced from The Big Island (Hawaii).

How does it work?

“Iliahi” is the Hawaiian name for Sandalwood. Unfortunately, the Sandalwood trade has a sensitive place in Hawaii’s history. We are mindful of this history and fully committed to caring for and protecting the long-term survival of this tree.

Sandalwood is a hemiparasitic plant; this means that it connects to the roots of other plants for its water and nutrients. The highest concentration of essential oil is in the heartwood, or center, of the tree. The ratio of heartwood to sapwood increases substantially as trees age, so older trees have the highest oil content. To ensure a sustainable harvesting program, it is critical to allow trees to age. It is also important to continue actively planting to ensure excess replenishment of these Sandalwood forests.

Environmental Stewardship

Our Hawaiian Sandalwood comes from the western coast of the island of Hawaii (The Big Island), specifically the Kealakekua Mountain Reserve (KMR). Cattle ranching and logging over the past 150 years hindered the regrowth of forests. Today, about 9,000 acres of the reserve’s total acreage are under conservation to protect it from further overharvesting. A forest management plan has been approved and is overseen by the State of Hawaii. We estimate that KMR will be the largest reforestation effort in all of Hawaii.

Protecting the remaining forest is integral to regenerating the lush forests natively found in KMR. This process begins with proper management of the land. To re-establish an environment in which Sandalwood and other native trees and plants can flourish, the conservation plan specifies that no living sandalwood trees should be harvested at the outset of these efforts. Only dead or fallen sandalwood trees may be gathered for distillation, which will allow healthy existing trees to grow fully to maturity before they are harvested at the appropriate time and under sustainable tree management practices. We understand that it will take decades to see sustainable progress and are dedicated to a plan of longevity.



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