(BIVN) – A problematic banyan tree that was recently trimmed next to Honomu Park fell over Sunday morning, covering the road, engulfing a vehicle, and knocking out power for 286 HELCO customers.
“It was kind of slow,” said Jude Mattos, who heard the tree cracking before it fell down around 8 a.m. this morning. “Nobody was hurt, luckily no one was in the park today.”
The banyan tree has been the subject of heated debate between the community and the county in recent months. A tree risk assessment was done by Arborist Services LLC for the county in November 2016.
“It is my professional opinion that both trees are structurally sound at this time,” said Mark O’ Dell, an ISA Certified Arborist. “However, tree #1 does pose an overall risk to property and/or life. Further maintenance or removal of this tree is recommended.”
The tree was recently trimmed.
“We had a neighbor complain about the tree roots damaging his foundation and his property,” Mattos said. The county decided to cut the root system so it wouldn’t continue to impact the private home, but when they did that, Mattos said, “there was no stability.”
“And this is what happens,” Mattos added. “Its top heavy on the left side instead of the right side of the tree. The county wanted this done and the contractor fulfilled his obligation in his contract, and this is what happened.”
HELCO reported that power was restored for all customers at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.