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PHOTOS: Looking Back at Lahaina’s Famous Banyan Tree

Lahaina, Maui in Hawaii has reportedly been devastated by major fires. One of Lahaina’s iconic landmarks is a giant banyan tree.

Originally planted in 1873, Lahaina’s Banyan tree has stood for over a century. Even after the fires, it is reportedly still standing, though it’s not yet clear whether the tree will survive.

Already, though, the banyan tree is becoming a symbol of the resilience of Lahaina and Maui. I’m a pro photographer and captured the Banyan tree and other parts of Lahaina over the years.

Here’s a look back at the Lahaina Banyan tree.

The Banyan Tree

Lahaina’s Banyan tree is massive, covering an entire city block.

The leaves of the tree formed a thick canopy, blocking the hot tropical sun and providing a pleasant place to rest.

Even Maui’s local chicken population enjoyed spending time in this massive tree!

The tree is in a park with other historical structures.

This amazing tree has stood for over 100 years, and reportedly survived previous fires. We remain hopeful that the tree–and the whole town of Lahaina–can survive and ultimately thrive again.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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