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'Exceptional tree' taking exceptionally long to remove

By Craig Gima

LAST UPDATED: 9:22 a.m. HST, Nov 28, 2013

It's going to take a little longer to completely remove the stump of a large earpod tree next to Keeaumoku Street on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture.

Workers began taking down the tree on Nov. 20, but after more than a week, park of the stump is still in the ground and the contractor will need to get another permit to close a lane of Keeaumoku Street to complete the removal, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said.

The current permit expired Wednesday.

The tree was more than 120 years old and had been designated an exceptional tree by the City and County of Honolulu.

Two certified arborists determined the tree posed a potential hazard to the public because of extensive internal decay and a contractor was hired to take it down.

A mauka-bound lane of Keeaumoku Street was closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the removal process.

RJ Yahiku, a spokesman for the Department of Accounting and General Services, said the tree will not be replaced. The removal should allow other large trees around it to grow out, he said.

Yahiku said some of the wood from the tree will go to a woodworking cooperative.

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