PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Shaele Powell’s great-great-great-grandfather didn’t live to see his 8-foot banyan sapling turn into a sprawling, 2-acre forest in and of itself in Lahaina, Hawaii, but his descendants have.
An iconic landmark in the historic town on the island of Maui, the tree represents a symbol of Powell’s family and a memorable setting for all who have visited.
But its outlook isn’t entirely clear after a deadly fire swept through thousands of acres on the west side of the island, destroying much of Lahaina and scorching the tree in the process.
The wildfires, sparked Tuesday, Aug. 8, have killed at least 99 people and destroyed thousands of iconic buildings and restaurants in western Maui, as of Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Another potential casualty is the historic banyan tree.
Over the last 150 years, thousands, maybe millions, of people have stood to take heed of what is now a gargantuan plant with at least 16 trunks above ground.
The Portland Tribune and its parent company Pamplin Media Group are KOIN 6 News media partners