Unable to save it, city cuts down century-old banyan tree in Moiliili

Unable to save it, city cuts down century-old banyan tree in Moiliili
A century-old banyan tree in Moiliili was cut down Wednesday. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

By Kimi Andrew
HNN Summer Intern

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- The city started cutting down a century-old banyan tree in Moiliili on Wednesday.

The city Parks Department tried to save the tree, but deemed its removal necessary after large tree branches began falling. Two branches fell within a one-week period from late July to early August, which prompted officials to decide once and for all that the tree needed to be removed.

According to the Parks Department, the "abnormally high frequency of branch failures is being attributed to failing health of the tree, which is believed to be caused by a combination of factors. Those include: a stubborn twig borer pest infestation, the age of the tree, and stress the tree has suffered from a reduced water supply from damaged irrigation lines."

The ailing tree was treated with insecticide last April in order to battle pest infestation.

Another banyan tree in the University area does not show signs of decay at this time.

Both banyan trees have dedication plaques from April 1994. The tree that was removed was dedicated to Kihachi and Shika Kashiwabara, the first Japanese immigrants to settle in the area. The plaque will remain where the tree stood.

The Parks Department and the Division of Urban Forestry said they plan to replace the removed banyan tree with a Monkeypod tree.

The removal process is expected to take one week. No traffic lanes are scheduled to be impacted by the tree's removal.

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