Kailua neighbors spar over tree trimming - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kailua neighbors spar over tree trimming

William Appleton William Appleton
Heather Shank Heather Shank
Ted Herbert Ted Herbert
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Coconut and Ironwood trees, some taller than 80 feet, once towered over William Appleton's property, until his neighbor got a court injunction to trim, prune or remove them.

"They didn't trim a single tree. They started clear-cutting my yard," Appleton said.

Appleton is a paraplegic. He said he couldn't afford to keep the trees trimmed.

Heather Shank lives next door.

"This was a life-threatening danger for my family, and we were forced to take it to court," she said.

Shank said she was at her wit's end after ten years of pleading with Appleton to trim his trees.

"This could have killed any adult or any grownup," she said, picking up a coconut that landed in her yard. "They were showering down."

Shank said falling coconuts smashed her solar panels and caused other problems.

But Appleton disputes the court's order.

"The order that they did get says that they're allowed to prune, trim and/or remove trees that are in a position to cause them bodily harm. None of my trees could," he said.

He said the trees sheltered his roof from damaging wind and rain. But another neighbor said the overgrowth created a health concern.

"They draw the rats. We have rat problems because of the palm trees," Ted Herbert said.

Appleton lives alone with four large parrots. The trees were their playground and a place to perch.

"It means everything to me because I used to watch my birds fly from tree to tree to tree," he said.

But Shank said needles from the Ironwoods clogged her drainage system and fell into her swimming pool. One day a branch snapped.

"It felt like an earthquake. It came within inches of our property line," she said.

"The Ironwoods they cut didn't come close to the property line," he said.

Ten trees were cut and seven others were trimmed. Appleton said the tree cutting was done out of spite. Shank insists it was out of desperation.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case

    Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:37 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:37:20 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 12:51 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:51:24 GMT

    Prosecutors say Weiner broke the law by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to "sexually perform" for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat.

    More >>

    Prosecutors say Weiner broke the law by having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl, including asking her to "sexually perform" for him in conversations on Skype and Snapchat.

    More >>
  • Trump hangs on to feud with NFL, revives issue with tweets

    Trump hangs on to feud with NFL, revives issue with tweets

    Monday, September 25 2017 5:17 AM EDT2017-09-25 09:17:32 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 12:50 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:50:46 GMT
    President Donald Trump's attacks on activist athletes kicked off his favorite kind of drama _ personal, aggressive, culturally volatile and largely of his own making.More >>
    President Donald Trump's attacks on activist athletes kicked off his favorite kind of drama _ personal, aggressive, culturally volatile and largely of his own making.More >>
  • North Korea says Trump has 'declared war' on his country

    North Korea says Trump has 'declared war' on his country

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:37 AM EDT2017-09-25 15:37:54 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 12:49 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:49:24 GMT

    North Korea's foreign minister says Trump's tweet was a declaration of war against his country.

    More >>

    North Korea's foreign minister says Trump's tweet was a declaration of war against his country.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly