In a sign the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources calls "positive," the 150-year-old, block-spanning tree is sporting clusters of new leaves. After the terrible wildfire killed dozens of residents, and left many still missing, the survival of the historic Banyan tree was noted as possible after arborists surveyed the damage. The tree has been well cared for since.
Over 2200 buildings were destroyed by the fire, most of them homes. The costs to rebuild are estimated to top $5.5 billion. The State is still not done counting lives lost.
The 150-year-old, 60-foot-tall banyan tree that was burned during the Maui wildfires in Lahaina last month has begun to sprout new green leaves. The flames destroyed entire neighborhoods, killed at least 97 people, and left 31 still missing and unidentified, according to Hawaii Gov. Josh Green. At the time, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said the tree was "just about the only thing left" standing and gave the town hope. Just days after the fires, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser talked to expert Steve Nimz, who "found no significant signs of singeing, charring, or cracking on the main trunk or most of its more than 40 aerial roots." On Monday, Maui's Department of Land and Natural Resources shared a clip on Instagram revealing new leaves. Local arborists had been working to aid in the banyan tree's recovery, caring for its soil and giving it nutrient-rich "tree-loving soup."