Hawaiian Treescapes: Rainbow Eucalyptus

I went upland to the Keahua Arboretum in Wailua yesterday hunting for a native species that I wanted to shoot.  Of course by shoot I mean photograph and the target species was a type of tree.  The Rainbow Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus deglupta, is one of the most incredible trees I have ever seen.  The bark is made of multicolored hues ranging across bright green, red and deep purple.  The trees are tall and slender with branches only starting about 40′ up.  The patterns in the tree trunks are beautiful and I spent a couple of hours alternating between composing images and ducking under shelter from the intermittent rain showers.

The gnarled roots share the distinctive colors and seem to provide a shelter for new growth at the base of the trees.  These micro landscapes presented interesting elements to work with.

The stand of trees are clustered around a grassy slope that is part of the 30 acre forest park.  The park is divided by the Keahua stream with the stand of eucalyptus being on the far side.  You can drive across but I didn’t want to take chances with my rental car so I walked across the foot deep water.  A very small price to pay to see these amazing trees.

The trees can be found alone or in small groves around the island but I enjoyed heading up to this retreat in highlands at the base of Mount Wai’ale’ale.  Aside from the rainbows, there are mango and monkeypod trees that stand out from the verdant forest.  The arboretum is a special place with an appeal that stems not just from the trees but also the solitude and peacefulness that you can find there.  When the sunlight broke through the clouds and filtered down it created great spot lighting on the trees which kept me there a while longer.

20 responses

  1. Jan

    Thank you for sharing and allowing me to share.

    July 13, 2016 at 2:39 pm

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  3. Pingback: Christopher Martin’s Photos of Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees | The Chawed Rosin

  4. Jill

    Beautiful! And congratulations on that first photo – making it on the cover of a novel is a pretty big deal. 🙂 Went searching for rainbow gum trees wile reading “Euphoria” and recognized your photo right away!

    December 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    • Hi Jill,

      Thank you for your email and for tracking down my photo. It was fun to work with the publisher to license this image. Happy New Year!



      December 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

  5. Jeannette

    I have had the opportunity to see the trees with my eyes. Some thing you will never forget. God is here.

    September 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

  6. Pingback: Eucalyptus deglupta « Catherine 2013

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  8. Val

    These are amazing – I’ve never seen anything like it, it looks almost painted. I wonder what causes it?

    December 31, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  9. Pingback: Hawaiian eucalyptus | My2shoppe

  10. beautiful colors!!!

    December 22, 2011 at 7:05 am

  11. For some of the images I had to wonder if they were photographs or oil paintings. Beautiful!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  12. iltana


    December 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm

  13. Pingback: On the Hawaiian forest floor « Christopher Martin Photography

  14. Sid Dunnebacke

    I can understand why these trees were a specific target for you. Thanks for the photos, Chris – my daughters are going to love these shots (as I do).

    December 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

  15. Stunning colors!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:49 am

  16. Such amazing colours! Are they accurate or enhanced? Beautiful either way 🙂

    December 20, 2011 at 7:27 am

    • Hello – they are truly incredible. I was there when the trunks were wet from intermittent rains which saturated the colors. I used a polarizer to cut reflections which can dull the strength of the color. Bottom line – the colors are accurate and when you get to see one in person, you will be amazed!

      December 20, 2011 at 7:41 am

  17. What an amazing palette!

    December 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

  18. BEAUTIFUL!! Now I really want to see those trees in person!

    December 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

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