Plea for help in Central Oahu as trees pose hazard, nuisance for residents

Some Central Oahu residents are fed up with the mess in their neighborhood.

They say the trees on their sidewalk are creating a dangerous situation, and they’re asking their city councilman for help.

Honolulu City Councilman Ron Menor, who represents District 9, says he hears complaints about city trees all across Oahu that have become a problem.

He says in a Mililani neighborhood, residents continue to have issues.

“For example, berries falling from the trees onto the sidewalk, which make it difficult for pedestrians to walk on the sidewalks and that’s a hazard,” Menor said. “They can trip or slip on the berries.”

We went to the neighborhood and talked to residents who say the problem has been going on for years.

“Basically you just look on the ground and the fruits, they usually blossom once a year and the fruits just drop off the tree and it just gets sticky,” said Mililani resident Eric Nakashima. “People don’t like to walk on the sidewalk. I see a lot of people walk out in the middle of the road, which can be dangerous.”

Neighbors tell us the berries fall for a few months out of the year, leaving the streets empty for fear of a ruined paint job.

But the berries still make their way into yards.

“There always making rubbish. If it’s not the leaves, it’s the fruit, clogs up my gutters and everything,” said Mililani resident Roland Gambol.

Menor’s bill would require the city to come out and help with any trees that “pose a hazard to any person, or to public or private property.” This would include assistance to clean up debris.

The bill would also require the city to cut back any tress that cast a shadow on solar panels, and allow the city to issue permits to private citizens to remove trees on city property.

“The city should assume some responsibility or obligation to prune those trees for the homeowners in the future,” Menor said.

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