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Hawaii Kai palm named top tree in U.S.

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 6:22 a.m. HST, Apr 8, 2014

A 112-foot tall palm tree in Hawaii Kai is the winner of top honors in a national tree contest.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Monday the tree nicknamed "Coco" received 64 percent of the votes cast in the final round of American Forests' Big Tree Madness contest.

The palm beat the "Big Sassy Bassword" tree from Missouri, which won 36 percent of the vote.

"Coco" is at the Hawea Heiau Complex on Oahu's east side.

Department Chairman William Aila says the palm appears like a guardian over the area. In addition to a heiau, the complex has petroglyphs, an ancient niu or coconut grove, agricultural terraces, a spring, ancient walls and an altar.

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