Who chopped down these Wailua Homesteads trees?

Sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, five Manila Palms were chopped in half at the entrance to Wailua Homesteads Park.

The stumps of the five trees had to be removed, said a County Parks and Recreation official.

Manila Palms take about five years to mature and were planted about 15 years ago as a beautification project for the park. Unlike other trees, once these are cut it in the center, they will not grow back, said Larry Saito, County Beautification and Parks Superintendent.

The Parks and Recreation department is not going to replant those type of trees, and may use shade trees in the park instead, Saito said.

“Because our population is growing, what the public has to understand is we have to take care of what we have,” Saito said. That includes keeping an eye on kids, and adults, who shouldn’t be at the park after sunset. If people want to “cruise,” they should go to their garages or homes, he added.

The vandals also broke a wooden picnic table and left behind a burnt sofa in the playground, which also had to be removed. The Parks and Recreation Department was alerted to the incident after the weekend, and the Kauai Police Department continues to investigate the incident.

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