After giving shade for 5 decades, iconic monkeypod in Manoa to be cut down

Published: Mar. 3, 2018 at 2:41 AM HST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2018 at 2:18 PM HST
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(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: City and County of Honolulu)
(Image: City and County of Honolulu)

MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City officials confirmed a large monkeypod tree in Manoa will be removed late next week.

The tree sits near the busy five-stop intersection at Manoa Road and Oahu Avenue.

A recent inspection found severe decay and only 20 percent live wood helping to hold the large limbs up.

After providing beauty and shade for more than 50 years, area residents agree it's time it's taken down.

"It's sad to think of anything that iconic to the valley not being there anymore," said Dale Kobayashi with the Manoa Neighborhood Board. "But it's potentially dangerous because branches fall off and could damage homes or hurt people."

One resident said that exactly what happened about four years ago when part of the tree smashed through her home's roof, trapping her inside.

She wasn't hurt, but a similar incident in Waikiki fractured a woman's spine, ribs and face in 2012 when an 80-foot coconut tree came crashing down onto a Kuhio Beach Park restroom.

That woman was given $1 million after her attorney argued the City didn't maintain the tree after it showed signs of decay.

"The city has a duty to keep our trees in a safe inventory and I think they do a good job given the hundreds of thousands of trees they have to look out for," said Winston Welch with The Outdoor Circle. "While we're sad to see it (the monkeypod) come down, I think that it reminds us that these trees do age and a lot of our trees are older and we need to make an effort to replant them."

The decision comes one day after Mayor Kirk Caldwell launched a new campaign to create more shade in Honolulu.

Currently, 25 percent of the urban canopy is covered. Their goal is to cover 35 percent by the year 2035 to make Oahu more livable for future generations.

However, city officials say the iconic monkeypod in Manoa will not be replaced.

"It's time to say A Hui Hou to this one," said Welch.

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