Invasive trees removed

First photo: State forestry crew members Mike Kahula (from left), Layne Vegas and Kat Crosby clear invasive kiawe trees from the perimeter of a popular ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve snorkeling spot Thursday morning. The tree removal is part of an overall plan to rid the reserve of non-native plants and mammals. The crew members are from the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Kiawe is a species of mesquite tree, also known as Prosois pallida. Its sharp thorns can puncture tires and footwear. Native to Central and South America, the noxious plant was first brought to Hawaii by sailors in 1826, state officials said.

Second photo: Vegas carries a section of kiawe away from the shoreline Thursday.