The Lahaina Restoration Foundation will commemorate the Lahaina Banyan Tree’s 150th anniversary with a birthday party at the historic site on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Members of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation will present a new bench and plaque commemorating the tree’s 150 years.
Festivities will include a Banyan Tree Trivia contest from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants who answer all trivia questions correctly will receive a banyan tree magnet and be entered into a drawing with prize winners announced at noon.
Throughout the event, keiki (children) can make special cards using a Banyan Tree rubber stamp, colored pencils, and pens. Several historic photos of the Lahaina Banyan Tree will be on display, and Fun Fact Storyboards will be available to view.
The official 2023 Lahaina Poster Contest Winner, artist Laurie Miller, will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to dedicate and sign posters, which may be purchased at the Lahaina Visitor Center.
At 1 p.m., a Banyan Tree birthday cake will be cut and distributed to attendees while supplies last. Following at 2 p.m., free kalo plants will be given away in honor of the kalo that was grown for centuries at the site prior to the construction of the Lahaina Fort in 1827.
“The Lahaina Restoration Foundation is so very excited to commemorate such a special anniversary for a very special banyan tree,” said Theo Morrison, Executive Director. “We invite our entire Maui community to join us on Earth Day as we celebrate her beauty and continuing legacy.”
About the Lahaina Banyan Tree
The Lahaina Banyan Tree, also known as the Indian Banyan Tree or by its scientific name, ficus bengalensis, was planted on April 24, 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina. The massive tree, with a height of more than 60 feet, was only 8 feet tall when planted, but now shades two thirds of the one-acre park.
When its aerial roots hit the ground, they grow into trunks which support the tree’s lateral growth. The phenomenal growth, resulting size, and shape of the Lahaina Banyan Tree can be attributed to the care the tree received from the community in its early days.
The town gardeners tied pickle jars filled with water to specific aerial roots which they wanted to grow while cutting back others. This has resulted in a tree with a symmetrical circle of many trunks around its original main trunk.
With its continuous lateral growth over the years, the aerial roots have dropped from the branches to the ground forming supporting trunks. Today, arborists trim the tree annually, so it will stay within the confines of the park.
The Lahaina Banyan Tree is on the County of Maui’s list of Exceptional Trees, which means that it is protected, and special attention is given to its maintenance.
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/04/12/lahaina-banyan-tree-celebrates-150th-anniversary-april-22/