Did the Bonsai Tree in Lahaina Burn – Majestic Banyan Tree

The iconic banyan tree in Lahaina, nicknamed “Lele,” did suffer significant damage from a wildfire in August 2023, but it did not burn completely and has shown remarkable signs of resilience.

While the fire scorched its leaves and branches, several reports indicate new growth emerging in the following months [[3, 5, 6]]. This demonstrates the tree’s potential to recover, although its long-term health remains under observation by arborists.

What is the Significance of the Majestic Banyan Tree in Lahaina?

The history of the 150-year-old banyan tree traces back to 1873 when it was planted near the Courthouse by the sheriff.

The tree, which was merely eight feet tall at the time of planting, has since grown to an astonishing height of over 60 feet, earning its title as the largest banyan tree in the state of Hawaii.

Over the years, the tree has withstood many challenges, including the devastating wildfire that tore through the heart of the Hawaiian island of Maui in early 2018, leaving a trail of fire damage across Lahaina.


The Maui wildfires, fueled by strong winds and dry conditions, posed a significant threat to the iconic banyan tree.

The flames scorched the surrounding area and reached the tree’s trunk, raising concerns about the extent of the damage it may have suffered.

As the fire raged on, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, along with the Maui community, rallied to protect the historic tree from the blaze, symbolizing the deep-rooted attachment and reverence for the banyan tree.

In the aftermath of the wildfire, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation launched extensive efforts to assess the damage and formulate a comprehensive restoration plan for the 150-year-old banyan tree.

Brian Schatz, the senior United States Senator from Hawaii, expressed his support for the restoration initiatives, emphasizing the banyan tree’s importance to the cultural and historical identity of Lahaina.

How did the Wildfire in Lahaina affect the Banyan Tree Bonsai?

The wildfire in Lahaina had a profound impact on the majestic banyan tree, as it was scorched by the devastating blaze that swept through the town, leaving a trail of destruction.

Despite the extensive damage caused by the wildfire, the banyan tree stands as a resilient symbol of hope and resilience, reflecting the unwavering spirit of the Lahaina community.

The Maui community’s immediate response to the threat facing the banyan tree highlighted the collective determination to preserve its legacy and cultural significance.

The efforts to save the banyan tree involved a collaborative approach, with local residents and businesses actively participating in protective measures to shield the tree from further harm.

The community’s swift action and dedication demonstrated the enduring bond between the people of Lahaina and the iconic banyan tree, showcasing a shared commitment to safeguarding their cultural heritage and natural treasures.

The aftermath of the wildfire also spurred a wave of support and solidarity from across Maui, fostering a renewed sense of appreciation for the banyan tree’s role in shaping the identity of Lahaina.

The tree’s unyielding stature amid the devastation symbolized resilience, offering hope and inspiration to the community during a challenging time.

Banyan Tree Bonsai

What Measures are being taken to Preserve the Banyan Tree’s legacy?

In the wake of the wildfire, the restoration plans for the banyan tree encompass a comprehensive approach to ensure its preservation and longevity.

The Lahaina Restoration Foundation, in collaboration with local authorities and conservation organizations, has devised meticulous strategies for the tree’s recovery and revitalization.

Through expert assessment and innovative techniques, the restoration efforts aim to rejuvenate the majestic banyan tree, safeguarding its historical significance for future generations.

Moreover, the community has undertaken various initiatives to protect and celebrate the banyan tree, including educational programs, awareness campaigns, and sustainable practices to maintain the tree’s well-being.

The collective efforts of individuals, businesses, and cultural advocates have solidified the commitment to preserving the banyan tree’s legacy, ensuring that it remains an enduring symbol of Lahaina’s cultural heritage.

Lahaina’s celebration of the banyan tree, particularly during the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina, signifies the profound appreciation and reverence for the tree’s historical roots.

The commemoration of this momentous occasion underscores the enduring cultural significance of the banyan tree and its enduring legacy within the Lahaina community.

How has the Lahaina Community rallied around the Banyan Tree?

The efforts to protect and restore the banyan tree exemplify the pivotal role of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation in spearheading conservation endeavors and advocating for the preservation of the town’s cultural landmarks.

The foundation’s unwavering dedication and stewardship have been instrumental in rallying the community to champion the cause of safeguarding the banyan tree’s heritage.

Beyond its physical presence, the banyan tree holds profound cultural significance for the Hawaiian community, symbolizing resilience, interconnectedness, and respect for nature.

Its role as a focal point of historical and cultural gatherings underscores its significance in preserving the collective memory and traditions of Lahaina, serving as a cherished emblem of the island’s rich heritage.

Furthermore, the banyan tree’s enduring presence has a substantial impact on tourism and local businesses, drawing visitors from near and far to experience its grandeur and historical resonance.

The tree stands as a testament to Lahaina’s identity and serves as a poignant reminder of the community’s tenacity and unity in times of adversity.

What does the Survival of the Banyan Tree signify for the People of Lahaina?

The symbolism of the still-standing banyan tree holds profound significance for the people of Lahaina, embodying resilience, fortitude, and the enduring spirit of the community.

 Its survival amidst the destructive forces of the wildfire represents a beacon of hope and continuity, inspiring a sense of reverence and appreciation for the historical and cultural legacy it represents.

As the largest banyan tree in the state of Hawaii, the majestic banyan tree’s continued historical significance resonates deeply within the hearts of the Lahaina community, serving as a living testament to the enduring traditions and heritage of the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Its unwavering presence symbolizes the resilience of Lahaina and the unbreakable bond between the community and the natural environment.

Looking ahead, the future of the majestic banyan tree is marked by a collective commitment to its preservation and perpetuation, ensuring that it remains an enduring symbol of cultural heritage and environmental stewardship for generations to come.

The tree’s legacy continues to thrive, carrying the stories and spirit of Lahaina into the future, as a testament to the island’s rich history and enduring vitality.


The Bonsai Tree in Lahaina, often referred to as the Majestic Banyan Tree, was indeed affected by a fire that devastated the Lahaina area on Maui.

The incident occurred on a Wednesday, leading to the tree being scorched by the flames. Despite the damage inflicted by the fire, aerial footage and social media posts from the aftermath revealed that the Banyan Tree is still standing.

 Although it endured significant scorching, its resilience has left it upright, sparking discussions and concerns regarding its survival prospects following this unfortunate event.


Did the majestic Banyan tree in Lahaina burn?

Yes, the 150-year-old Banyan tree in Lahaina was scorched by a devastating wildfire that started in February 2018.

Where is the Banyan tree located?

The famous Banyan tree stands along Front Street in the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui.

Is the tree still standing despite the damage in Lahaina?

Yes, despite being scorched by the fire, the historic Banyan tree is still standing in Banyan Court along Front Street in Lahaina.

When was the Banyan tree planted?

The Banyan tree was planted in 1873 and has since become a symbol of resilience and strength for the community.

When was the Banyan tree planted?

The Banyan tree was planted in 1873 and has since become a symbol of resilience and strength for the community.

How severe was the damage caused by the wildfire?

The devastating wildfire ravaged the town of Lahaina, plunging the island of Maui into darkness and leaving the historic Banyan tree partially charred.

What was the impact of the devastating fire on Lahaina?

The fire caused significant damage in Lahaina, including scorching the 150-year-old Banyan tree and casting a shadow of distress over the community.

How significant is the Banyan tree to the town of Lahaina?

The historic Banyan tree is an iconic symbol of Lahaina, attracting visitors and locals alike to its majestic presence along Front Street.

Has the Banyan tree recovered from the wildfire?

Although the tree still bears the scars of the fire, it continues to stand as a resilient testament to the strength and endurance of Lahaina’s community.

What was the impact of the wildfire on Maui’s landscape?

The wildfire cast a shadow over the island of Maui, leaving a lasting impact on its natural landscape and reminding the community of the need for vigilance and conservation.

What was the timeline of the devastating wildfire that affected Lahaina?

The devastating wildfire that started in February 2018 swept through Front Street, causing widespread destruction and leaving the historic Banyan tree as a poignant symbol of the community’s resilience.