Letters — About Hilo Bayfront Coconut Trees

UnknownWhat is Hawaii without the coconut tree? Not much hawaii really, and yet year after year, more trees are cut down by the county without any being replanted. Why? Tree trimming cost and liability for injury seem to be popular reasons, but the truth is they are unbiquitous with our tropical paradise. Food, shelter and a unique micro biotic community are just some of the fabulous benefits that accompany the ultra tropical coconut palm. Please tell the county, plant coconut trees! Stop cutting them down and over trimming them. Coconut palms cannot be trimmed beyond horizontal without permanent injury to their health. Trim them only minimally and plant more than you cut! 30 trees are marked with a red dot across from Cronies Bar and Grill in downtown Hilo. Does anyone want a shoreline without coco palms? I think not.

Andrew Plack

3 replies
  1. Bill Walter
    Bill Walter says:

    A little history on the palms at the Hilo bay front. In 1960 the town experienced a devastating tsunami, the second such tsunami in less than 15 years. Herbert Shipman suggested to the County that coconut palms be planted along the bay front to absorb energy from future tsunamis – thus giving some protection to the town. The County agreed and Herbert then donated the coconuts from the company’s (W. H. Shipman) property in Kea’au. Young boy scouts (being a young boy scout at the time, I remember the day) were then enlisted to plant the palms.

    The palms should be maintained and replaced when they die. They have become an important part of the Hilo waterfront and they do provide a level of protection.

    Thanks for keeping your eye on this issue.

  2. dan
    dan says:

    I agree. Hawaii is not Hawaii without the beautiful coconut trees. Ask vacationers planning a trip to Hawaii what they are looking forward to seeing and many will say coconut trees swaying in the breeze. Cutting down the trees makes no sense. Sad to hear the country doesn’t understand this but what can you expect.

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