Honolulu Museum of Art to close for tree removal delayed by nesting white tern

Photo: Honolulu Museum of Art

The Honolulu Museum of Art will close on Sunday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 9, to remove two trees on its main property. The museum is closed on Mondays.

The project was originally scheduled for the end of March, but was delayed when a resident white tern hatched a fledgling in one of the trees.

The trees, kamani and mango, are beautiful and offer shade, but officials say they are damaging the museum’s historic building and pose a safety threat to its nearly 300,000 annual visitors. During high-wind weather, branches break off the trees and crack roof tiles, while the extensive root systems are dangerously close to pushing through the basement walls. In addition, the museum spends thousands of dollars a year clearing the roof gutters of tree debris.

The museum informed the environmental nonprofit Outdoor Circle of the tree removal, and the organization agreed the removals were necessary.

The museum is working with the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to ensure the safety of the terns during the tree removal.

In the meantime, the museum’s Doris Duke Theatre and Spalding House location in Makiki Heights will remain open.

The museum offers a free shuttle bus to Spalding House, which departs from the Honolulu Museum of Art School at 1111 Victoria Street. On Sunday, the shuttle begins service at noon and runs continuously until 4 p.m., departing about every half-hour. On Tuesday, the shuttle begins service at 10 a.m., and runs continuously until 4 p.m., departing about every half-hour.

Since December, the Honolulu Museum of Art’s main location on Beretania Street has been undergoing a beautification project. Funded by the Shidler Family, the museum’s façade and Mediterranean and Central Courtyards have gotten a facelift with new paint and landscaping.

Photo: Honolulu Museum of Art

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