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Replanting effort replaces iconic banyan tree in Pālolo

Diseased Chinese Banyan tree replaced with Ali‘i Banyan tree, improved landscaping

O‘AHU -- A blessing and community event marked the replacement of an iconic banyan tree today, revitalizing a small but significant green space at the entrance of Pālolo Valley.

Located at the Pālolo Triangle on the intersection of Wai‘alae and Pālolo avenues, the newly planted Ali‘i Banyan tree is joined by additional landscaping improvements including repaired irrigation lines, new croton plants, and Bottlebrush trees.

Completed on National Love a Tree Day, the landscaping work beautified this busy corridor while encouraging community participation in caring for our urban forests.

"It is always sad when we need to remove large, ‘sentinel' trees like the Chinese Banyan," said Honolulu Division of Urban Forestry's Administrator Roxanne Adams. "I refer to trees like these as ‘sentinels' because they watch over our neighborhoods and provide a myriad of benefits and protections. We very much understood the impact the loss of this tree had on the community, and wanted to replace it as soon as possible. We ultimately chose the Ali‘i Banyan tree, and the surrounding plant life, because it is more appropriate for this space and has a look that suits the surrounding landscaping. We hope it creates a new sense of place for this neighborhood as it grows and becomes part of the community."

This Ali‘i Banyan serves as a replacement to the approximately 50 year-old Chinese Banyan tree which suffered three separate pest infestations, including: lobate lac scale, stem gall wasp, and leaf gall wasp. The combination off these infestations and reduced watering due to damaged irrigation is believed to have contributed to the trees diminished health, resulting in extensive rot within the tree. Arborists with the City's Division of Urban Forestry (DUF) made several attempts to remedy the iconic tree and improve its overall health over the past decade, but a fallen branch in February 2024 revealed the extent of the rot. Due to the compromised structural integrity from the severity of the rot, the decision was made to remove the tree for safety reasons.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more of these Chinese Banyan trees being impacted by a combination of these pests" said Navin Tagore, DUF Community Forester. "As important as it is for us to plant new trees, protecting our existing trees is also crucial for the growth of our urban forest. Trees provide more benefits the older and larger they get. When we do community plantings or tree education together with our community, we can inspire a larger group of people to care for and better recognize the many benefits of our urban forest. This is a kākou thing!"

For more information on the many benefits of trees, and all of the efforts of the dedicated arborists within the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation's Urban Forestry Division, please visit

If you need an auxiliary aid/service, other accommodations due to a disability, or an interpreter for a language other than English in reference to this announcement, please contact the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 768-3003 on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. or email at least three business days before the scheduled event. Without sufficient advanced notice, it may not be possible to fulfill requests.

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