What is the story behind the massive Lahaina Banyan tree in Maui? Let’s discover together. Also, we will take you on tour around Lahaina Banyan Court Park. We hope you like it and add it to the list of must-see attractions in Maui, Hawaii.
The Story Behind The Massive Lahaina Banyan Tree In Maui
In 1873, Sheriff William Owen Smith planted an Indian Banyan tree in front of the Lahaina Courthouse and Lahaina Harbor. But what was the reason? Well, it was due to Queen Keopuolani’s request. Queen Keopuolani is the sacred wife of King Kamehameha the Great. And the April 24 of that year was the 50th anniversary of the first Lahaina Protestant mission. As a result, the Queen wanted to do something special to honor the date.
The tree was only 8 feet tall when it was brought back from India. It then steadily sent stems outward from its body. From the stems, the roots grow straight and point down to the ground. Some of them even dug into the ground. Over the years, they grew bigger until they finally turned themselves into trunks.
Now, this Lahaina Banyan Tree stands higher than 60 feet. It has over 40 main trunks beside the huge original. Its shades could cover almost two-thirds of an acre.
This is indeed the biggest banyan tree in the whole United States. Recently, the Lahaina courthouse square changed its name to “Banyan Tree Park” to honor the tree.
Great Things The Iconic Tree Has Done
The Lahaina Banyan Tree has actually come to serve many roles.
First of all, it’s the best spot to cool down. There are benches under the tree so you can even lie down and relax.
Secondly, the vast stems and wiry roots make great backdrops for your photos.
Last but not least, the tree is an important and popular gathering place. It’s where to keep and take place traditional activities bearing Lahaina culture. Under the greeny canopy, local crafters and artists display their artworks every weekend. Occasionally, there will be cultural dances such as hula here.
Lahaina Banyan Court Park
It would be remiss to talk about the universal famous Lahaina Banyan tree without mentioning the place where it was raised.
The park where it grows is as beautiful as the mammoth root system that nurtures it. Next to the tree is the Old Lahaina Courthouse. It now serves as Lahaina Restoration Foundation, the Lahaina Arts Council, and the Lahaina Historic Society. The first floor includes a visitor center, an art gallery, and a gift store. There’s a museum with amazing displays showcasing the region’s history upstairs.
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