Gold trees not good choice for home yard
I'm enjoying the beautiful yellow trees that are visible along the H-1 freeway and airport viaduct. Where can the trees be obtained? Are they seasonal? Are they recommended for home use?
Answer: Gold trees, commonly misidentified as golden shower trees, are seasonal, with the spectacular yellow flowers lasting only a few weeks.
"Each individual tree has a very short blooming season," generally only two to three weeks, according to Terri Koike of the city Department of Parks and Recreation's Division of Urban Forestry.
Enjoy them while you can, because "this show is at the end of the cycle," she said.
The trees then will lose most, if not all, of their leaves and flowers. When a gold tree "regrows, it will look like any other tree with green leaves until the following year," Koike said. "They look great now but that's it. You won't see them (blooming) again until next year."
She said she is not aware of any specific nursery with gold trees available. But because they grow up to 100 feet high, with a massive root structure, Koike said they are not recommended for private yards or even along any sidewalk area.
They are more appropriate for a park setting or an "estate-type property."
The city planted about 1,000 gold trees about three or four years ago. The trees along the freeway and airport, however, are under state jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the official city-street tree is the less showy rainbow shower tree, found in shades of white, pink, yellow and orange.
Those will bloom several times a year, Koike said. They can be seen along Kuhio and Kalakaua avenues and South King Street.
Q: Some thoughtless person has used the power line as a clothesline for hanging three pairs of athletic shoes tied by their laces fronting 920 Punahou St. Hawaiian Electric Co. was notified and was going to send out a crew to check it out, but the shoes are still hanging after a week. Is there any danger in this?
A: Luckily, the dangling shoes are more a visual blight than a hazard.
"The only immediate danger would be if someone other than a HECO crew tried to remove the shoes," said spokesman Peter Rosegg. "We appreciate being notified of athletic shoes over lines and will get them off as soon as practical." (Call 548-7961.)
Rosegg that that while metallic (Mylar) balloons or other items might cause a power failure, "the shoes only pose a visual problem."
The practice of tossing shoes over power lines has a name in some quarters -- "shoefiti" (a play on graffiti).
According to an urban legends Web site -- snopes.com -- shoes hanging from power lines all across the United State are supposed to signify the presence of street gangs. But there really is no one explanation, with theories ranging from gangs marking their territory, to crack dealers advertising their presence, to graduating seniors leaving their mark, to kids just doing it for fun.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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