Hawaii’s legendary 150-year-old banyan tree has begun to show signs of life after suffering massive damage due to Maui’s catastrophic wildfires that left 97 dead.
Known as the ‘Heartbeat of Lahania’, the tree was completely singed from the August 8 fire and initially did not show any signs of returning back to its original state.
Multiple volunteers arranged for water tankers to come by and douse it with hundreds of gallons of water every few hours after the damage. Maui arborists, landscapers, and volunteers formed a hui to care for the tree.
The department confirmed that new leaves are appearing on trunks and branches. The signs of new life indicate positive signs for the tree’s long-term recovery.
Steve Nimz of Tree Solutions Hawaii found ‘found no significant signs of singeing, charring or cracking on the main trunk or most of its more than 40 aerial roots,’ according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
He also found ‘live tissue in the tree’s cambium beneath the bark layer’ and discovered that the soil beneath the tree had not been affected.
The tree was being fed a compost tea, which is a mix of natural ingredients that are being shot into the ground around the circumference of the base. Volunteers have also chopped up small blocks of alfalfa, a legume, and spread it around on the ground to see if the nutrients will help the tree.
Landscape contractor Chris Imonti explained: ‘We did root samples last week and we had very good news as far as new life in the roots. A lot of new roots shooting off.
Source of data and images: dailymail