Lahaina’s 150-year-old banyan tree sprouts new green leaves more than one month after deadly wildfire

The 150-year-old banyan tree that suffered significant damage during the deadly Maui wildfire is beginning to show signs of life.

Clusters of green leaves were spotted growing on the charred branches as well as beneath the tree.

When the wildfire swept through the town of Lahaina on August 8, the historic tree was nearly burnt beyond recognition. Yet many remained hopeful that the beloved landmark would return to its natural state of beauty.

Almost immediately after the fire, a plan to save the tree was put into action.

A group made of Maui arborists, landscapers, and volunteers aerated the soil around the tree, brought in water tankers to begin a watering program, and began feeding the historic tree “compost tea.”

While the tree, which was planted in Lahaina in 1873, has received around the clock care, no signs of life had been spotted until recently.

Timothy Griffith, the county arborist, noticed multiple new shoots on the aerial root props and main limbs of the tree.

Steve Nimz of Tree Solutions Hawaii closely investigated the banyan tree and did not find any evidence of singeing, charring or cracking on the main trunk. Nimz also discovered there was still live tissue beneath the bark layer, and the soil under the tree was not burnt.

LAHAINA, HAWAII – AUGUST 11: In an aerial view, a 150-year-old Banyan tree is seen scorched on August 11, 2023 in Lahaina, Hawaii. Dozens of people were killed and thousands were displaced after a wind-driven wildfire devastated the town of Lahaina on Tuesday. Crews are continuing to search for missing people. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The survival of the historic banyan tree has become the ultimate symbol of hope for the residents of Lahaina.

If you enjoyed this story, make sure to check out what this little boy did to help the victims of the Maui wildfire.


News of the banyan tree recovering is such welcome news for a community that was completely destroyed by a fire. Let’s hope this is just the beginning for a region devastated by a fire.