7/23/22 #kihei


Monkey Pod grove in 2011


The only place along S. Kihei Road (SKR) where you can drive, walk (there IS sidewalk here) or bicycle (if you trust the sharrows*) beneath a grove of shade trees is between Kulanihakoi and Waipuilani.  This grove of Monkey Pod trees are now protected to some extent because they have been declared exceptional trees.    https://www.outdoorcircle.org/exceptional-trees.html

County administrations unsuccessfully attempted to remove them more than once, most recently in 2011.  After that a valiant effort was instituted to have the southern most four, designated the Monkey Pod Quartet, get that exceptional designation; and once that was achieved, the entire grove also was nominated and so declared. The extraordinary part of this administration effort was the misleading justification for their removal. Once the community met with the Public Works Director David Goode in a fact finding effort, a very inexpensive simple fix was achieved. It remains in place today, as does this welcome grove of shade trees.

This minor matter was the only actual issue. One tree root from this single tree raised the sidewalk. On a roadway with countless segments of NO sidewalks, this molehill became a mayoral mountain.


Wild claims that the four trees had to be removed to facilitate a major lengthy road project were baffling. Were not the remaining trees along this same segment having the same effect?  Was this a ploy to say it is just a few, remove them, then say whoops we may as well remove all of them now. Since it was revealed there was no need to remove any trees to fix the sidewalk, the community stopped listening.

Over a decade later that whole group of county government misleaders are gone with all their false and nonsensical claims and too much hot air, while the stately trees remain providing shade, and cleaning and cooling the air for the benefit of our community.

Currently, we see the outstanding ReTree effort progresses to bring more trees to do more good and a community effort goes forward to insure existing trees in our parking lots are protected and allowed to do the same.

* Do you know what a sharrow is? Seems most Maui drivers do not. Find out here:   https://www.bicycling.com/news/a20044419/what-are-sharrows-used-for/

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