look. A 150-year-old banyan tree in Lahaina shows new life after devastating wildfires | outside

A 150-year-old banyan tree (bodhi tree) in Lahaina, Maui, which was severely damaged during recent wildfires, is now showing signs of new life. This brings hope amid the devastation caused by flames during last summer’s bushfires.


Last updated:
09-24-23, 16:37


This historic banyan tree, planted in 1873, is a cultural landmark and is located on Courthouse Square on Lahaina’s famous Front Street. This is a place on the west coast of Maui.

The banyan tree is considered the largest of its kind in the United States, reaching more than 60 feet above the ground. It appears as if there are multiple trees, because the Bodhi Tree has the ability to grow additional trunks from its roots, resulting in approximately 46 large trunks.

(Read more below the picture)

Picture for clarification. Historic banyan tree after wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii. © Agence France-Presse

A glimmer of hope after intense fires

Local landscaping contractor Chris Amonti confirms that the growing leaves of the banyan tree are a sign of hope for a community that has been hard hit by recent fires.

Imonti is working with volunteers and Hawaii State Landscape Engineer Steve Nims to save the tree. Although about 75 percent of the tree is already showing new growth, they are closely monitoring the portion of the tree in the northeast due to extreme heat during the fire.

The fire also caused the soil temperature to rise severely, making it difficult for the soil to absorb water. That’s why some volunteers pour more than 5,000 liters of water on the tree every day to rehydrate the roots. They also make compost tea for the damaged tree, which helps the water penetrate the burned soil. “We’re seeing good results with compost tea, and as long as we give it enough love, I think it’ll be OK,” Imonte said.

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“I think a tree is the last thing on a lot of people’s minds right now,” the landscaping contractor admitted to the news site CNN. But he hopes the tree will be a “good vehicle for change” and remain a sign of hope on Lahaina’s long road to recovery.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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