Lyon Arboretum to begin Albizia removal projectUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Interim Director, Lyon Arboretum
Talia Ogliore, (808) 956-4531
Public Information Officer, Vice Chancellor for Research
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As witnessed on the Big Island during Tropical Storm Iselle, Albizia trees are prone to branch failure and uprooting. Lyon Arboretum is working to remove 12 of these trees that tower over main trails throughout the garden because they place at high risk many endangered, rare and irreplaceable plants growing below them. Other Albizia trees within the Arboretum have been identified for future removal as well, once funding becomes available.
Albizia (Falcataria moluccana) is one of the fastest growing trees in the world, with growing rates of up to 15 feet per year. These trees can develop a large canopy of more than 150 feet in width, which tends to shade out other plants. Because they are nitrogen fixers and drop prolific leaf litter, they alter the soil chemistry, allowing other weeds to invade while suppressing native forests. They have weak wood making them prone to breakage. The trees have large branches that are exceptionally long, with high weight on the ends. While branch failure is especially common during high winds, these trees are also susceptible to “sudden limb drop” where branches will drop without warning for no apparent reason.
Once these 12 Albizia trees are removed, Lyon Arboretum will replant open areas with other tree species that will provide a greater benefit to visitors and the University for many years to come. New plantings will be screened through the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment process prior to planting to avoid planting other invasive species like the Albizia.
Removal of these Albizia trees will start in late September and is scheduled to be completed in February 2015. Mulch and logs will be disposed on-site at the arboretum to recycle nutrients and minimize traffic and inconvenience to Mānoa residents. During this time, Lyon Arboretum will remain open, but access to the tree removal zones will be restricted to those working on the project for the safety of visitors.
For more information, visit: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum/