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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Lahaina’s Historic Banyan Tree Is Scarred, however Standing


Amid the charred ruins of Lahaina, one of many historic city’s cherished landmarks continues to be standing: a 150-year-old banyan tree. However it seems to have been badly singed by the fires that devastated Lahaina, on the west coast of Maui, and it’s unclear whether or not the tree will survive.

Lahaina was as soon as Hawaii’s royal capital, and the tree on Entrance Road is among the city’s many historic marvels. It was simply eight toes tall when it was planted in 1873 to commemorate a Protestant mission to Lahaina a half-century earlier, however years of cautious tending by residents helped it develop to greater than than 60 toes tall, in line with the Lahaina Restoration Basis, which manages greater than a dozen historic websites within the city.

“It’s mentioned that if the roots are wholesome, it can seemingly develop again,” county officers mentioned in an replace in regards to the tree late Wednesday. “However it seems to be burned.” County and tourism officers didn’t instantly reply to requests for extra data on Thursday morning.

Banyans, that are native to the Indian subcontinent, can develop so massive that every tree seems to be like a small forest. The bushes have aerial roots that develop within the branches and attain down towards the bottom, forming new trunks as their canopies broaden. In Lahaina, folks have inspired the tree’s progress by hanging jars of water to tug probably the most promising aerial roots towards the earth.

The leafy cover has grown to cowl greater than half an acre. The tree sits subsequent to an previous courthouse that has additionally served as a customs home, and it has change into a pure gathering spot for craft gala’s and different group occasions the place folks benefit from the shade of its sweeping branches.

On Thursday morning, Theo Morrison, the muse’s government director, expressed some optimism in regards to the tree’s future. “Banyan bushes are arduous to kill,” she mentioned.

However she additionally reported that the roof of the previous courthouse beside the tree was gone, and that the heritage museum inside it had been destroyed.

Anushka Patil contributed reporting.


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