By Lt. j.g. Eric Galassi, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
For the next several weeks, a contractor will remove palm trees on the grounds of Mamala Bay Golf Course at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).
When the work is completed, approximately 180 trees will be removed from JBPHH. Seventy-eight trees have already been removed including 68 palms from the Fort Kamehameha housing area.
One hundred and four trees are being removed from Mamala Bay Golf Course due to damage from the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB).
The remainder of the trees were selected for removal because they are either dead or present a safety hazard.
It is necessary to remove these trees to prevent them from becoming food or nesting material for the CRB. The potential danger created by some of the trees comes from their height and the difficulty of removing their coconuts before they fall.
There are presently between 500 and 600 trees on Mamala Bay Golf Course. While the number of trees being removed is significant, it is necessary to protect the remaining trees from CRB infestation.
JBPHH intends to plant trees to replace those being cut down, but the first priority is to remove the existing threat. The trees that will be planted will not be coconut palms, as that is the preferred food of the CRB, presents a safety concern, and is costly to maintain–but instead will likely be evergreen trees .
There is also a proposed Eagle Scout project to contribute to the replanting effort at JBPHH.