Kihei residents, Kihei Community Association members, members of theÂ Maui Outdoor Circle Board,
and members of the Maui County Arborist Committee gathered Saturday, Â June 11th to encourage Mayor Arakawa to preserve the four large monkey pod treees located on South Maui Road in front of the Maui Schooner condominiums. Â The mayor has scheduled a closed door meeting with the KCA board on Monday June 13th, at which time he is expected to announce his intentions for these trees.
The KCA has attended and facilitated local meetings and discussion on the fate of the trees. In these meetings and communication with Kihei residents the KCA has observed a prevailing sentiment among community members to preserve these trees. A third-party report by a certified arborist explains that three of the four trees can be preserved and illustrates how the sidewalk can be repaired accordingly. Â The report identifies a fourth tree as being a potential challenge to the nearby fire hydrant.
As general policy, the Kihei Community Association advocates for “street trees” to provide cooling, shade, wind abatement, synthesis of carbon dioxide, bird habitat and natural beauty. The KCA board understands that these trees provide a challenge to maintaining the sidewalks. However, we feel that their natural beauty and positive effect on the community can be preserved along with the sidewalk. The KCA feels that a complete discussion on removing sidewalk obstructions would include various items such as utility poles as well as various public and private encroachments. The KCA has not seen any plans to replace these trees. At current, the KCA feels that the removal of these trees would result in a net loss to the community.