A visual aesthetic monstrosity in North Kihei

8/11/17 #kihei
Yes the devastation continues along the Pi’ilani Highway, and as the chopping and hacking of trees was exacerbated today, so did the volume of communications to us.

Guys here are some pictures from late Friday morning. As we previously reported, to the best of our understanding this action is not being taken by the State, but by the Homeowners Association (HOA) officials of the Pi’ilani Villages, I II and III. Seemingly they have determined that the mature grove of Monkeypod trees is located on their property and have decided to take this action.

We think it is a horrendous action, and detrimental to our community, but we can only alert the community.

Contact info:
Pete Mueller <pgmueller@gmail.com>
Sunny Palmer (CPMMI) <spalmer@cpmmi.com> or 808-243-8600 ext 206

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17 Responses to “A visual aesthetic monstrosity in North Kihei”

  1. Thanks Mike.

  2. That is not an acceptable pruning method and they obviously have no training as arborists. Expect a significant number of those trees to die within a short period of time.
    Is there no official country arborist available to sound the alarm?

  3. Mahalo, Mike. Our understanding is that David Sakoda is no longer employed as the County Arborist, and at this time no one has been hired in his place, but the County is in the process of seeking a qualified replacement.

  4. My heart breaks and my stomach churns every time I drive by this horrific butchery.

  5. The County Council needs to be told to declare the Monkeypod a national treasure,or some designation that prevents anyone from hacking them. Seeing as the wood is very valuable to woodworkers those “hackers” chop as much as possible to store and cure for future sales. Stop voting for incompetent council people. Call your Rep today and demand this atrocity be stopped!

  6. There is currently a MCC (12.24A.030)to declare SPECIFIC trees as exceptional via the Arborist committee & approved by Council, but not a species of trees.
    The general process, as we understand it, when the COUNTY hires a “tree trimming company” for a job, part of the agreement is contractor keeps the wood to use or sell. When a private entity hires them, expect a similar agreement is set, and the entity can specifically how much they want cut.

  7. They’re not just “pruning,” if you can call it that (it happens a lot and I hate it!), they’re actually cutting them down to the stump. I see no reason for this; the trees are far from the road and far from the homes. Shame on them! Anyone from the HOA willing to stand up and explain why they’re doing this?

  8. OMG!! SO ANNOYING arm-chair landscape experts dis this kind of COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE and PROPER way to trim this kind of tree!!!

    Much ADO about NOTHING!! Here’s the facts:

    1. They’re Monkeypods, aka, Albizi saman, and are NOTORIOUSLY dangerous trees because of their rapid growth, weak branches, water filled cells, and propensity to simply fail with even the slightest of breezes and then go crashing to the ground destroying everything in their path on the way down; buildings, fences, AND sometimes people.

    2. On the Big I these trees are DREADED because they are so fast growing and dangerous because even in even the slightest wind they have the tendency to break.

    3. NO DOUBT, the insurance companies for the HOA’s REQUIRED this SPECIFICALLY because they are a KNOWN dangerous tree..

    So, let’s talk about what they did to these trees. This form of tree trimming is called, ‘pollarding’ and is STANDARD trimming practice for these kinds of trees, every day, all day long, all around the world. The purpose of doing this is to establish a strong structural framework on which new growth can SAFELY (key word) grow.

    Without this kind of trimming, these trees would get TOO heavy and then break at places that ultimately can destroy the balance of the entire tree and then have to be removed because they become even MORE dangerous.

    Give these trees time to ‘fill-in’ and you would never know these trees were WELL taken care of and in the most appropriate and industry established manner ~ ~ ~

  9. As a certifed arborist of more that a decade, this is just another example of the very low standards of tree health care in our community.
    Plumeria tree are constantly abused in the same way with this type of stub cutting.
    Best Management Pratices are the indusrty standard on Oahu which has the designation of beinga “Tree City USA”
    There is no accountability among home ower associations that would prohibit this kind of poor landscape managment.

    A sad Certifed Arborist

  10. Terry Lolo, monkey pod is entirely different than albizzi, but they may be distant cousins ,look it up….monkey pod are very beautiful valuable trees known in the Philipines as the rain tree and are just fabulous for wood work…this is an unmitigated sacrilegious massacre

  11. Aloha ,
    The correct botanical name for Monkey pod is Samanea saman
    They are not related or have any characteristics like the Albizua trees that are a menace and fall during winds

    Please check out the Maui County Planting Plan, the new addition is on the County website under Maui County Arborist Committee or call the Parks & Recreation Department for a hard copy.
    It’s a 200 plus document that is full of tree information & landscape information
    Albizia are not allowed to be planted in developments.

    The trees that are chopped along the Piilani Villages subdivision, to my understanding, are going to be removed down to the ground.-33 out of 43 trees will be gone.

    There might of been other solutions but it’s unfortunately too late.

    Maui, Green & Beautful, formally Maui Outdoor Circle, focuses on the urban forest. We alerted the community and appreciate the time & effort of KCA on this tree issue & other tree issues in the community,

    We ask the community to contact the Council & others to stress the importance of maintaining a healthy urban forest to the standards of the International Society of Arboriculture which also certifies arborist.
    Check out the website. Trees are good by ISA
    We are hoping for a County ordinance to have a process to require a permit before removing healthy mature trees in the County. Possibly going before the Maui County arborist committe so their will be a chance to prevent tree tragedy removals by suggesting solutions or planting replacement trees.
    Mahalo KCA!
    Maui Green & Beautiful Board President
    ISA Certified arborist
    30 plus years on Maui in the landscape industry

  12. Mahalo, Elaine for the authoritative information. The link to the county website to see the current (Third Edition) of the Maui County Planning Plan is:

  13. The Maui County Arborist Committee says the monkeypod destruction on Piiilani Hwy is a PLANNING matter, the Arborist Committee has no jurisdiction.

    The trees were required for subdivision approval. Isn’t this is a VIOLATION of their subdivision agreement?

    No one has the answered the question.
    Isn’t it time for a voice of reason to save what’s left of these beautiful trees?

  14. Mahalo, Lynn. KCA is not clear here Does HOA have right to remove them? to do extreme cut backs? Since we do not know, we have sent a request to Director Spence at Planning Department and will share any information we receive

  15. The tree roots are said to be undermining the home and/or accessory structure foundations. The HOA is said to have determined that these trees are wholly within the HOA kuleana. The HOA determined that these trees are to be removed.

    I am paraphrasing, and I make no representation as to whether the HOA is correct or not. But the owners got newsletters to this effect.

    It was my past understanding that these trees are the State Highway Division kuleana, and that the trees are the HOA’s responsibility to water and prune or trim, but not to remove.

  16. Aloha Mike!
    Thank you for sending the letter to Planning; we need to know the answers.

    The current situation at Piilani Villages is a disgrace. If readers have the stomach for it, actually look at how these majestic trees are being chopped up and left bare on the roadside. PV homeowners will regret they removed these beautiful SHADE trees instead of taking the time to find other solutions;
    that will be their KULEANA (and KARMA!)

    It may be sadly too late to save these trees but future subdivisions beware, we will be watching!

  17. Yes Lynn. As is sometimes done after a catastrophe, this loss should not be just mourned, but set community resolve to insure it is not repeated Make something good come of this loss, and do not forget it.