HONOLULU (KHON) — Arborists continue their efforts to restore the historic banyan tree in Lahaina, one of the few landmarks left standing after the devastating Maui fires.
Experts told Nexstar’s KHON that crews were able to brew up a batch of compost that will help the soil and generate new roots. Arborists said when the crew applied the compost, they saw some live roots, which appeared to be in good condition.
Now, it’s just a waiting game to see when the banyan tree will soak up the nutrients. It could take a few weeks, months or even years, but arborists are closely monitoring the banyan tree.
“So we’re monitoring moisture, we’re monitoring all the ‘vital signs’ on a tree,” said arborist Steve Nimz. “We have instruments that we can test the movement.”
The team said they’re keeping everything on record and continuing to review the banyan tree’s improvements in meetings.
The colossal banyan, a gift shipped from India in 1873, was just 8 feet tall when Sheriff William Owen Smith planted it to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina, according to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.
The tree grew over 60 feet high, with 46 additional trunks joining the first, providing a shady footprint of nearly two-thirds of an acre that has been a famed gathering place for visitors and residents alike.