Skip to main content

Kona Sandalwood

Reforestation Project

Big Island, Hawaii, USA

The start of Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project

Young Living’s investment in the Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project, as well as its distillery and lab, is how we work together to preserve the deep connection that Hawaiians have with their island and its rich history. At this scenic Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood farm, only the dead wood from sandalwood trees is harvested in order to help maintain ecological balance, and sandalwood seedlings are planted with companion trees to mirror native healthy sandalwood forests as part of a 40,000-acre reforestation project to ensure the future of this important species.

Young Living Founder D. Gary Young played a pivotal role in the growth of the Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project. When he, Co-Founder Mary Young, and their family visited the Big Island, it became clear that he shared the same passion for conservation as the project’s founder and owner, Wade Lee. Together, they envisioned using the dead and dying sandalwood that the forest was providing to create a sustainable, beloved product. Through this partnership with Young Living, the reforestation project is now a beautiful and thriving Hawaiian sandalwood forest that provides the world with precious Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood™ essential oil.

Seed to Seal® quality commitment

Out of respect for the land, as well as to align with Seed to Seal®’s regenerative agriculture priorities, the staff at the Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood reforestation project actively work to support the regrowth of the area’s previously deforested mountains.

Oil highlight

Hawaiian sandalwood, or Santalum paniculatum, grows at a higher altitude than other sandalwood trees and was once traded exclusively by Hawaiian royalty. That’s why the essential oil extracted from the trees is called “Royal” Hawaiian Sandalwood. The oil is especially high in santalol and has a smooth, sweet aroma.

Did you know?

The average age of harvested sandalwood trees is 61 years old. Since the Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project started in 2010, workers have planted millions of new native Hawaiian trees on its 3,000 acres.
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood Hydrosol is extracted by steam distilling wood from mature sandalwood trees native to the Hawaiian Islands. During the distillation process, the essential oil is separated from the hydrosol, which is also known as distillation water or floral water.
Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood Hydrosol has a light, woodsy scent and is celebrated for hydrating skin and hair and adding a welcoming aroma to linens and the air in your home.

Our focus on conservation

Preventing fires. With funds acquired through product sales, the Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project has built over 10 miles of fencing and over 15 miles of fire breaks to protect the sandalwood forest from fires.

Preserving the land. The Kona Sandalwood Reforestation Project occupies one of the rarest ecosystems in the world, a tropical dryland forest. This location on the Big Island has contributed to the success of reforestation projects, supporting the deeply rooted Hawaiian value of humans cultivating a respectful relationship with the land.

Relying on renewable energy. Since the project is located on a remote part of the Big Island, its power must be created or gathered on site. All electricity used in the cabin living quarters and education center is fed by more than 60 solar roof panels.

Book your farm experience

Plan your next adventure at one of our many farm locations and experience the source of our authentic essential oils firsthand.

Young Living events

Exciting things are always happening at Young Living! Browse our Farm Events page to see all of the unique experiences we have to offer.

Young Living Farms & Partners