Taking cuttings from public plants is illegal
Whom would I contact from the city and the state to see if I can cut leaves from monstera and laua'e fern plants that are lining various state, city buildings and parks. I'm not sure if we need permission or not, or need to be supervised so that we do not take too much.
Answer: In general, you can't take cuttings from state and county properties, although you may be able to get what's left after plants and shrubs have been trimmed during maintenance work.
The city does not allow the public to cut any plants around its facilities.
The Department of Facility Management contracts out its landscaping work, except at the Board of Water Supply and Environmental Services buildings.
If you would like cuttings from facilities under the department's jurisdiction, you can leave your name and phone number with a grounds supervisor, who can then contact you when plants are being trimmed, said Laverne Higa, director of Facility Maintenance.
Call John Alameda at 523-4563.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for all city parks, as well as the area around City Hall, the Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building and the Honolulu Police Department headquarters.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2003
In general, the public is not allow to take plant or tree cuttings from state and county properties, although you may be able to get what's left after plants and shrubs have been trimmed during maintenance work.
The department's Division of Urban Forestry is responsible for maintaining those areas and the public is not allowed to cut any plants, said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy parks director.
Meanwhile, Section 10-1.2 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu specifically says it is unlawful for any person to "cut or remove any wood, plant, grass, soil, rock, sand or gravel" from city parks.
The Parks Department also is responsible for many other city properties, including median strips, roundabouts and traffic calming areas.
Because of the volume of work involved, the maintenance of these areas is mostly contracted to private companies, Takahara-Dias said. Contractors are responsible for their cuttings, rubbish, green waste and remnants.
In state parks, the public is allowed "to gather fruits, berries, seeds and similar items for personal use, but cutting leaves isn't allowed," said Parks Administrator Dan Quinn.
After checking with the state Attorney General's Office, state Comptroller Russ Saito, head of the Department of Accounting and General Services, said that taking plants would be like taking any kind of government property.
"Cuttings are slightly different, because they're not the whole plant," he said, but there still would be a concern because cutting a plant might cause damage or involve cuttings that could be used by the state.
"All of this may be like making a mountain out of a molehill if someone simply wanted a cutting to grow a plant for personal use," Saito said.
If that's the case, he said, you can contact the person in charge of ground maintenance and ask to be informed when plants are cut or pruned.
For cuttings from facilities overseen by Saito's department, you can submit a request in writing to James Hisano, DAGS -- Central Services Division, 729 Kakoi St., Honolulu, HI 96819, or call him for more information at 831-6733.
Meanwhile, on yet another level, the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife requires "collecting permits" for people who want to gather forest items (such as bamboo or ti leaves) for personal use and not for sale. Call 587-0166 for more information.
The city is converting to an improved telephone system. New numbers are being issued and directories are being updated. Instead of the number we listed in Thursday's Kokua Line
, the new number for the Housing Code Section is 768-8159.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
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