The mid-August wildfires in Maui, which rendered much of Lahaina into charred ruins, displaced residents and left long-standing businesses devastated. Yet there’s a sign of hope amid the ashes. The island’s iconic Banyan Tree, which boasts dozens of trunks, was singed by the flames, and officials wondered whether the 150 tree could survive and flourish again.
Yet month later, signs of definite life are at hand. As one can see in the above video footage (via local ABC affiliate KVIA), leaves are beginning to spring from the tree’s branches. Via CNN, local landscaping business owner Chris Imonti calls this “a sign of hope… [and] new beginnings.” He added that great effort, including the pouring of 5,000 gallons of water on the tree daily, is being expended by volunteers, and the results are promising:
“I would say about 75% of the tree right now is showing new growth, and we’re really happy about that,” Imonti said.
“The northeast corner of the tree got most of the heat so we’re still monitoring that part of the tree pretty closely,” he noted.
The tree isn’t totally out of the woods yet because the soil surrounding the tree is resistant to absorbing water due to the high temps it sustained, and it could obviously take years to restore it to its former glory. Yet there appears to be reason for some celebration, which is more than anyone could have hoped for only a few short weeks ago.