A symbol of hope to emerge from the tragic Maui wildfires is the historic banyan tree in Lahaina has miraculously survived the inferno.

Goodfellow Bros. Construction, founded in Wenatchee in 1921 has operations in Hawaii and the company is using its equipment to water the 150 year old tree during the critical recovery period.  The company is encouraging anyone who would like to donate money to Maui relief agencies or join in recovery efforts to support  #MAUISTRONG  Follow this link to six Maui relief agencies on the island. 

Arborist Steve Nimz told Hawaii Magazine he inspected the tree and believes it is still alive and could recover.  However, Nimz said the banyan has yet to “wake up” and show signs of recovery.

The fate of Lahaina's historic banyan tree has captured the imagination of many as they follow the reporting on the unimaginable loss of life and destruction.

Lahaina's Banyan Tree Getty Images
Lahaina's Banyan Tree Getty Images

The banyan, one of the oldest in Hawaii, was planted in 1873. It stood only 8 feet tall when it had reached 50 years of age in 1923.  Indian banyans grow multiple trunks from an expansive root system and develop a broad canopy.   It now rises over 60 feet tall and features 46 major trunks.  It's believed the banyan's size and number of trunks helped it withstand the tremendous heat that destroyed the town of Lahaina.

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Goodfellow crews are part of the teams that are helping care for the tree but Nimz told the magazine other efforts will include extra composting and aeration will be done to improve drainage.  The tree was blessed over the weekend and protective fencing has been installed to keep people away from what had been a gathering spot for generations before the fire.


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