June 23, 2024

A historic giant tree escaped from Maui’s inferno


Maui’s historic giant tree clings to life

It’s one of Maui’s landmarks and spans 2,000 square metres: a 150-year-old banyan tree survived the fires – and is now a symbol of the will to survive.


Governor Josh Green toured the giant banyan on Aug. 10.


  • The devastating fires, which have killed at least 99 people in Hawaii so far, have hit a local landmark in Lahaina, Maui.

  • A huge 150-year-old banyan tree was damaged by fire but is still very much alive.

  • Now the tropical fig tree has risen to become a symbol of the will to survive.

“The famous banyan tree on Front Street, while badly damaged, is still standing,” Democratic Senator Maisie Hirono wrote on social networking site X formerly known as Twitter. “Having spoken to the owner of the tree who is taking care of it, I am hopeful it will bloom again – as a symbol of hope amid so much destruction.” Governor Josh Green said the tree was “still breathing,” absorbing water and producing sap, albeit less than usual.

Indeed, the historical tree from Lahaina A sign of resilience: It’s burnt out and has lost a number of branches, but it’s clinging on for life. Banyan was planted in 1873 as a gift from missionaries also from India Banyan Tree It is called now about 20 meters high and spreads over an area of ​​about 2,000 square metres. It has a circumference of about 400 meters and has spanned 46 main trunks – making it the largest banyan in the United States.

The New York Times wrote that “generations of schoolboys have been playing under a shady canopy on school trips, and their teachers have warned them not to climb its boughs or swing from its inviting aerial roots while wild hens perch on its boughs giggling and swarming.” around the tree. At Christmas, its branches are decorated with colored lights.

after devastating fires He has also become a mentor. “I went to Front Street and only found our restaurant there by looking at the banyan tree,” host Javier Barbieri told CBS News. “I had to use the tree as a guide because everything as far as the eye could see was destroyed,” he said. “The banyan is one of the most iconic things in Lahaina,” he said. “To me it shows the strength of the city, this amazing, resilient tree. And I hope to God that one day it turns green again.”