Maui’s Lahaina Banyan Tree Revives after Wildfire Damage

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The 150-year-old banyan tree in Lahaina, which was scorched by Maui’s deadliest wildfires in August, is showing signs of recovery with new leaves observed. The banyan is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is considered a landmark by many locals. Amid the devastation, the tree was one of the few things left standing in the town, and its survival has become symbolic of hope for the fire-ravaged town.

Lahaina’s giant banyan tree begins recovery post wildfires

Lahaina’s giant banyan tree, a casualty of Maui’s recent wildfires, is showing signs of recovery with the sprouting of fresh green leaves. The 150-year-old banyan, standing 60 feet tall, is cherished by locals and tourists and is described as the largest of its kind in the U.S. The banyan is a landmark and popular for meetups and wedding proposals.

The wildfires in August were the deadliest in modern American history, taking the lives of at least 97 people and destroying homes and communities. Amid the destruction, the tree remains standing in the historic town, albeit burned and covered in ash, according to U.S. senators from Hawaii.

Maui’s Department of Land and Natural Resources recently shared a video showing new leaves on the banyan, signifying its slow but steady recovery. The recovery process has been aided by arborists and volunteers who have carefully nurtured the tree’s soil and even provided a nutrient-rich concoction labeled “tree-loving soup”.

The tree’s recovery means much to the community. Arborist Steve Nimz found live tissue in the tree’s cambium, signaling new life in the roots. Local media has described the budding leaves as a “sign of hope,” embodying the resilience of the fire-stricken town.

The banyan tree was planted in 1873 marking the golden jubilee of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina, according to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation. The tree symbolizes the strength of the community, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm who visited the site after the disaster.

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