Iconic centuries-old tree falls at Halekulani

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Hotel employees are hopeful that an iconic kiawe tree at the Halekulani in Waikiki will live on.

It fell over and uprooted from its base near the hotel’s House Without a Key restaurant early Sunday morning.

The hotel reports that it fell approximately 12:11 a.m. Sunday. A statement read that “our main concern was that no one was in the area or hurt when it fell.

“Since the tree was planted in 1887, we actually contracted Landscapes Hawaii and their arborist to care for and maintain the health and stability of the tree. The arborist was necessary as they are knowledgeable about its needs and equipped to provide proper care.”

Hula dancer Kanoe Miller, who regularly danced at House Without a Key, posted a video on her Facebook page and partly stated that the tree “has stood by us and protected us. Many of us have silently spoken our thoughts to it. Its majestic beauty has comforted and delighted us as we sat at the House Without a Key.”

General manager Ulrich Krauer says the hotel scanned surveillance footage to see what happened.

“We looked through the camera. We saw at midnight several people walking by here and that was about 12:04. By 12:10, when we looked at the camera again, the tree was down and nobody around,” he said.

The hotel had the arborist inspect the tree after its fall.

“Even fallen, the roots are still in the ground, and as you can see, it’s still green, so we hope with proper care it can continue to grow and exist, so it’s not over,” Krauer said.

Crews trimmed the tree Monday to prevent it from being a public safety hazard.

The tree itself will remain on site until the hotel receives a statement from the arborist on how to proceed.

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