Moanalua Gardens maps out ‘new life’ for century-old tree felled by strong winds

The winds of August 8th that whipped flames through West Maui also affected a huge tree here on the island of O'ahu
Published: Aug. 27, 2023 at 1:53 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 27, 2023 at 5:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The winds of Aug. 8 that whipped flames through West Maui also brought down a huge tree here on the island of Oahu.

Moanalua Gardens is home to many big, strong trees, including the famed monkeypod tree named the Hitachi Tree.

JP Damon, owner of Moanalua Gardens, says the tree is over 110 years old.

Damon was told that there were reports of hearing the tree fall around 3 a.m.

“They did think that it was related to something on the freeway, like a very large collision — it sounded like a bomb went off. And then at about 6 in the morning, when they were doing their rounds, they found it like this,” said Damon.

Damon describes the loss of this tree that grew up alongside another twin monkeypod tree as “tragic.”

“It’s tragic. It’s a majestic tree. It’s actually twins; they grew right alongside each other, which was probably the reason why they were more susceptible to falling; they were unbalanced. But they stuck together for 110 years, and now they are going to find a new life.”

When asked what is next for the tree, Damon says it will be used to turn into something new, like furniture or cultural purposes.

“I’ll work with Moanalua High School and Moanalua Middle School for shop-oriented things as well as Kamehameha Schools because this was Kamehameha property at one time, so we’ll work with organizations that can utilize this.”

Damon explains that you shouldn’t let something like this incredible tree go to waste and that many pieces of woodworking that will come from the tree can live long lives as well.