HONOLULU (KHON2) — A banyan tree planted by Queen Kapi‘olani in the late 1800s is in dire need of a complete examination and an extensive trim. The tree at Hulihe‘e Palace grew from a cutting taken from the tree at ‘Iolani Palace — the latter was a gift from Indian royalty to her husband King Kalākaua.

The Daughters of Hawai‘i, caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace, are asking for the public’s help to preserve this tree.

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“This tree is as much a part of the Village as any of us that grew up here. It has watched over us for generations and it is our kuleana to watch over her,” said Manu Powers, Regent & President of the Daughters of Hawai‘i. “She is majestic and historic, but much like us, she needs care and tending to. With regular TLC, she could potentially live a thousand years. It’s incredibly humbling to think that perhaps someday, my great great grandchildren will stand in awe of her too. There are few things left in society today that we can say that about.”

The Daughters of Hawai‘i are working with family-owned business Shamrock Tree Service, which has years of experience with this banyan and is committed to its maintenance for future generations. Large trees like Hulihe‘e’s banyan are a safety risk if they go untrimmed.

Overgrown limbs can extend into nearby power lines, damage buildings, jeopardize the trunk’s ability to support the weight of the tree and even hurt people. Routine trimming reduces these risks and allows for plants below to get more sunlight.

It’s important to preserve a major feature and landmark of Historic Kailua Village.

“We’re at a critical point for the banyan tree to be thoroughly inspected by an arborist and a plan for trimming be made and completed,” said Sally Inkster, Hulihe‘e Palace Grounds Chairman. “Shamrock Tree Service has been caring for this banyan for close to 20 years, and I am confident in their ability to give Hulihe‘e’s banyan a proper trimming.”

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