Committee plans albizia-free zones

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The Big Island Invasive Species Committee plans to create 250-foot-wide albizia-free zones between Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Beaches.

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The Big Island Invasive Species Committee plans to create 250-foot-wide albizia-free zones between Hawaiian Paradise Park and Hawaiian Beaches.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources during its meeting Friday granted the committee access to state land in between the subdivisions to create the buffer zones.

The invasive and fast-growing trees would be killed with a herbicide that is introduced in cuts around their bases.

About 195 acres will be treated, according to state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which brought the matter before the Land Board.

The trees lose their leaves within a few weeks and begin to crumble soon after. It wasn’t clear how long it will take to apply the herbicide.

The committee didn’t return a phone call Tuesday requesting comment.

Earlier this year, a team of arborists working with the committee created a 300-foot-wide buffer zone on either side of high-power transmission lines in Piihonua.

The brittle trees snap easily in high wind, and wreaked havoc on lower Puna’s infrastructure last year during Tropical Storm Iselle.

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The team has treated an additional 16,000 trees on 200 acres in the Black Sands subdivision, Bill Buckley, albizia coordinator for the committee, told the Tribune-Herald in June.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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