With news that the National Weather Service expects a more severe hurricane season than usual, Big Island residents–especially those in lover Puna–may be recalling the purgatory created by albizia trees during Tropical Storm Iselle, when the large, invasive, brittle trees fell by the thousands and isolated entire neighborhoods.
With the prevention of similar future experiences in mind, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is hosting a series of workshops on how to lessen the albizia menace.
“At the workshops, we focus on providing information to teams and individuals who want to take action on a specific area of their neighborhood,” notes the BIISC announcement for the workshops. “Working with the community organizer, these leaders will address both hazard and non-hazard trees in their selected area. Trees that directly threaten roads, structures or utility lines should only be removed by a certified arborist. At the workshops, you will be provided with resources to help you contact private landowners to notify them about hazard trees. You will also learn how to safely and effectively use small amounts of herbicide to treat non-hazard trees and stop the spread of the “keiki” albizia that are popping up.”
In addition to the informational session, the BIISC albizia control crew will give residents hands-on training to community volunteers. Those who wish to participate in the training should wear sturdy, closed toe shoes, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt, and bring their own water bottles (Water refills will be provided). Also recommended, in case the crew runs into little fire annts: “a hat and towel or cloth you can use to protect your neck and collarline,” since disturbed ants may fall out of the trees.
May 9 Hawaiian Shores Community Center (“The Stables”) 9 a.m.-12 p. m.
June 6 Leilani Estates 9 a.m. Community Center- Info Table / 10 a.m. – Demo & Workshop
June 20 Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center – 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
June 20 Nanawale Estates – 9 a.m. The Longhouse
Those who wish to sign up for a workshop or need more information can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.