Known as the oldest Banyan Tree in Hawaii and touted as the largest Banyan Tree in the world, this tree is impressive.
Imported from India, it arrived in Lahaina and was planted as an eight foot tall sapling in April 24,1873.
The planting of this tree was to mark the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the first Protestant Christian
missionary work in Lahaina.
Maui weather has proven favorable to this lovely branching member of the fig family.
It now stands over 60 feet tall, measures one-fourth of a mile in circumference and covers almost two-thirds of an acre.
It has been the landmark symbol of Lahaina for over 120 years. The main tree trunk drops huge hanging aerial roots which,
over the many years, have dropped to the ground and formed another 12 major trunks.
Japanese gardeners in the Lahaina community have become the caretakers of this special treat from Mother Earth. The workers
would hang large pickle jars filled with water under the drooping aerial roots to entice them to grow to the ground. The
ropes would be lengthened as the roots grew encouraging them to become tree trunks. Roots not acceptable to the symmetrical design
are trimmed off to control the shape. Bonsai on a larger scale one would say.
Ficus Benghalensis roots thrive on brackish waters. They are never seen at higher elevations other than sea level.
Growing adjacent to the Lahaina Harbor gives this tree the best environment to become one of the largest Banyans in the world.
They develop red, globe-shaped one-half-inch size fruit.
The Banyan Tree is a favorite spot to rendevous being in the center of action, across the street from the
Wharf Cinema Center, and adjacent to the Old Courthouse and the Fort Ruins.
Paved walkways criss-cross underneath the tree and park benches also offer a nice spot for respite and reflection.
Reflection may be difficult during sunset when thousands of local, loud and raucous mynah birds come to enjoy
happy hour in the tree. After sundown, they settle to roost for the evening.