This photo was taken 2011.11.09 showing an older lone tree with a large branch damaged and downed by wind. This must have occurred sometime during 2011. When visited again on 2012.03.5, branches are still alive as evident by their greenish color. Cut samples show bark and cross-section of some branches are still moist and green. Branches of varied size and thickness were carried out for replanting in pots at Kawaihae. I hope these branches will take root and continue living ( cuttings of wiliwili branches will form roots studies showed). The larger branches in pots are showing signs of withering on some smaller branches, however the bark and remaining smaller branches showed no signs of withering into the end of April.
As observed, a 1.5 foot diameter broken branch will stay alive well over six months, so how does this translate to the amount of time it took for a mature 100-200 years old tree to die? A tree seen alive in one year then fell down with dried withered branches all the way to its extremities a year later may have started to die at least six months prior. Wiliwili trees are drought resistance so they could stay dormant up to three years. This complicates our understanding of why some trees that live for hundreds of years start to die recently. Gall wasps may be one of the culprits, but certainly not the main cause.