The funny thing about Hawaiʻi is that we donʻt have “woods.” We have forests: dry forests, wet forests, extra-wet forests, perpetually raining forests. (We do have the wettest spot on earth here, high on the mountain top of Waiʻaleʻale on the island of Kauaʻi.) This is what a wet forest nearby looks like. Mostly giant ferns and small shrubberies, with a canopy of ohiʻa lehua (Metrosideros collina). It looks just like that pretty much all year long.
Iʻm not sure why we donʻt have woods in Hawaiʻi. For one thing, itʻs just not a word that people use. No one says: “Iʻm going for a walk in the woods.” So it may be simply a linguistic peculiarity. But it feels deeper than that. Maybe you need a temperate climate with its annual cycles and its interplay of animals and plants throughout the year for that feeling of a woods to develop. Maybe itʻs because the kind of landscape that would make a woods – a relatively open sort of forest through which one could walk at will – is both rare and non-native here. You have to make such a landscape with either labor or pastured animals. Maybe itʻs simply because these islands are too young geologically (only a few million years) to have developed such a storied kind of being as a wildwood.