East Hawaii News

Lava Tree Park to Close For Tree Trimming

May 31, 2013, 5:17 PM HST
* Updated May 31, 5:18 PM
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Lava Tree State Monument in Lower Puna will be closed for several weeks beginning on Monday to allow crews to trim trees and for other work.

The closing of the park is necessary because of the need for heavy equipment and potential danger from falling branches, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said.

The work is expected to be completed by June 21.

Two contractors, Arborist Service and Big Island Tree Service, will be involved in the project which will cost approximately $41,000.

“We appreciate the community’s understanding during this time, as the closure is necessary to ensure the safety of our park visitors,” said Dean Takebayashi, Hawaii District superintendent for the DNLR’s Division of State Parks.

The 17-acre park showcases a forest of lava trees along a 0.7-mile loop trail. This unusual volcanic feature is the result of a lava flow that swept through this forested area and then drained away, leaving behind lava molds of the tree trunks.

The park is located off Pahoa-Pohoiki Road, also known as Highway 132, 2.7 miles southeast of Pahoa.

Dominated by towering non-native albizia trees, the park was the focus of a trial effort about a decade ago to control coqui frogs as well as non-native plants providing shelter for the noisy amphibian invaders.

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