Categorized | Environment

Isle albizia tree control demonstration receives $35,000

A map of the Keauohana State Forest Reserve and Black Sands Subdivision region, markers indicate areas populated with albiza trees. (Image courtesy of BIISC)

A map of the Keauohana State Forest Reserve and Black Sands Subdivision region, markers indicate areas populated with albiza trees. (Image courtesy of BIISC)


The Big Island Invasive Species Council (BIISC) has been awarded $35,000 for a coordinated albizia, falcataria moluccana, tree control demonstration in the Keauohana State Forest Reserve and Black Sands Subdivision.

The reserve and subdivision are located in the Puna District.

This announcement comes in the wake of Monday’s tropical storm Flossie, which toppled an albizia tree onto power lines, closing highway 132 and causing an outage for 1,358 Hawaii Electric Light Company customers for more than six hours.

We identified this area of Puna as an ideal region to showcase the wide range of issues in albizia control, develop best management practices and empower communities to limit the spread of these menacing trees in their own neighborhoods,” BIISC Manager Springer Kaye said.

The Hawaii Island control demonstration aims to collaborate with stakeholders from the community, private-sector professionals and state and county government to remove albizia that are threatening homes, infrastructure and high-value native forests.

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) approved this funding as part of the council’s $2.55 million budget for fiscal year 2014. BIISC will also receive $308,900 for general invasive plant control, $129,526 for axis deer control and $43,495 for outreach.

In May of this year, Senate Resolution 41 was passed by the state legislature. The resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Russell Ruderman, directs the HISC to develop a statewide strategic management plan for albizia, starting with Hawaii Island.

An albizia stakeholders meeting was hosted May 30 by Ruderman and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station.

“As the fastest growing tree in the world, with brittle wood and shallow roots, albizia poses a serious threat to the public safety, infrastructure, economic viability and native forests across the state of Hawaii,” said Ruderman, who represents District 2 (Keaau, Pahoa, Kalapana, Kapoho, Kurtistown, Mountain View, Glenwood, Volcano, Pahala).

“It is crucial that all sectors of government, as well as the general public and private sector, work together to control this invasive species for our mutual benefit,” he said. “This demonstration project is a great start to state-wide management of albizia.”

BIISC is a voluntary partnership of private citizens, community organizations, businesses, land owners and government agencies to address invasive species issues on the island of Hawaii. It plans to meet with the Black Sands Community Association as well as other stakeholders this month to plan the demonstration.

Volunteers and others interested in the Hawaii Island albizia tree control demonstration, contact Hiipoi Kon of the BIISC at 933-3340 or

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