Trouble for Hawaii treesUPDATED 7:16 PM HST May 20, 2014Video Transcript
are being chopped down! They're losing their battle with tiny bugs .. Good evening, I'm Paula Akana. And I'm Yunji de Nies. It was a problem KITV first reported a year and a half ago-- but now hundreds of trees some that are decades old-- are under attack. KITV's Catherine Cruz has our top story. 29-34 126-134 149-154 A tiny red bug took down this giant Banyan at Moanalua Gardens... It's called a Lobate Lac Scale and its voracious appetite set of alarms... - 8:57 -9:00 -"Kind of like vampires They will suck the life out of the trees Now two other pests have surfaced a gall wasp that attacks leaves and another that attacks twigs. The city's arborist now says close to four hundred Chinese and Ficus Benjamina Banyan trees are under assault and it is the worst he has seen in his 35 years on the job. - Stan Oka 14: 26 14: 30 If we dont have some kind of relief soon I am really concerned about the rest of the banyans we have," The city discovered at least 40 diseased trees at Ala Moana Park --some of them on the exceptional tree list. - Stan 10: 44 -10:49 - We have to watch those trees and see what we can treat and see what we can save" The city plans to remove two diseased trees at Thomas Square this week. another five in Waikiki on Monseratt and there are more on the Ala Wai. Fortunately so far, the insects have not attacked the historic Indian banyans with the massive aerial roots that surround the Thomas Square fountain. The Outdoor Circle has applauded the city's efforts to try and save the trees by injecting insecticide in holes drilled in the trunk. It is the only weapon that arborists have to combat the insects. The pests have attacked young and old trees. The city has been able to save some trees but not all. Stan Oka 9: 08 9:17 - "So its really hard for us to keep on top of and it seems as every time we turn in a different direction we see more," - marti 29: 41 29: 48 - "The possibility of it spreading is quite high and it's just a matter of time befire it spreads through the urban forest in Honolulu and all the islands" This tree at the Catholic Cemetary on King street may have to be removed.The church says an arborist is recommending it be taken down since it is also threatening a historic incinerator. Just last week Trees of Hawaii removed a similar Banyan at Washington place. - Abner Undan 22:51:22:57 - "It breaks your heart because there nothing that you can do to save them," - Marti Townsend 27:43 27: 51 -People need to be preared with all of these infestations Banyans may be a rare sight in Hawaii in the near future" Arborists worry there could be more casualties with the summer weather adding to the stresses. The best advice is to keep your trees healthy. If you are worried about one in your backyard --contact a certified arborist. Back to you.