HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fallen albizia trees were the scourge of Puna in the wake of Tropical Storm Iselle. Beginning Monday, twelve will be removed from Lyon Arboretum on Oahu.
Though planning for the project began well in advance of the storm, those connected to it hope it can serve as a blueprint for future removal projects.
"In any urban areas, where these are in close proximity to homes, we've already seen the damage" said Dr. Carl Evensen, the Interim Director of Lyon Arboretum.
The way in which these trees will be removed is a method that others could emulate.
"We'll be using handlines, like ziplines, to lower the branches so you can do it more precisely, so you're not dropping it on the understory" said Paul Kinney of Imua Landscaping, which has been contracted to perform the removal.
Because of the tedious nature of the process, only two to three trees will be removed each month. The project will cost $980,000, to be paid for out of UH general funds.
While it is expensive, Dr. Evensen sees a greater benefit down the road.
"What we do hope is that some of the lessons learned with these big, very difficult trees will be useful for others around the state who want to remove albizia".