Banyan Tree in WPA-Built Park in Lahaina HI Survives the Maui Fire

The Lahaina Banyan Tree has survived the Maui Fire and stands as a symbol of resilience as Lahaina mourns the many lives lost this week.

The Banyan Tree is a beloved landmark and an essential part of Maui’s cultural and natural heritage. The massive tree, planted in 1873, has grown to cover nearly two-thirds of an acre and is considered one of the largest banyan trees globally, with its numerous branches creating a canopy.

The banyan tree stands in a WPA-built park in Lahaina.  It is the largest and best known tree in Hawai’i.

According to a story published by NPR on August 11, 2023, local authorities had initially been concerned that the fire might engulf the Lahaina Banyan Tree due to its proximity to the flames. However, as the fire subsided, it became evident that the tree had survived the ordeal. The tree has stood witness to over a century of historical events and remains a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

The incident underscores the importance of preserving natural and cultural landmarks amidst environmental challenges. The fact that the Lahaina Banyan Tree survived the Maui fire is a relief to the community, symbolizing the enduring strength of both nature and heritage.

Aerial view of the historic banyan tree and WPA-built park in the aftermath of wildfires in western Maui on Thursday.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

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