Monkeypod trees are too close to houses

Recently there have been a lot of letters about the removal of the beautiful monkeypod trees on Piilani Highway. I’d like to add some background as to why they may have been removed by the owners, which I think is the homeowners association for the subdivision.

Between late 2007 and the end of 2016, I was the maintenance superintendent for state Department of Transportation highways on Maui. On several occasions during that time, I was contacted by individual homeowners or the HOA to do something about the trees.

I went to see. The big problem was the roots. The trees had gotten so large that the roots were spreading out, damaging fences, underground piping and even home foundations. The roots may have damaged a swimming pool. I’m sure there were some problems I am not aware of. There was also the issue of shade, which is normally desired but, in this case, was shading solar panels. The leaf litter was also blanketing yards. I had to explain, with the aid of a blueprint that the trees belonged to the subdivision and DOT could not be of assistance.

Things are not always as simple as they seem. These trees were wonderful but they (or the houses, depending on your viewpoint) were in the wrong place. Maybe some trees with less invasive roots can take their place.

Steve Rodgers