Under the picture appears this explanation:
"The famous Banyan Tree located in courthouse square in the center of Lahaina was brought to Maui from India when the tree was a mere eight-feet tall. It was planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Lahaina's first Christian mission. It has become the central point of town under which you'll find meetings, craft shows, entertainment and almost anything else you can imagine. The tree now reaches a height of about 50 feet and extends over 200 feet from side to side."
Here is a wikipedia link re: the "strangler fig" or banyan tree. Some reasons I can see for it becoming popular, even revered, are:
- presumably it provides figs of some hopefully edible kind,
- it would likely provide fast-growing and endless supplies of firewood for cooking,
- it would provide shade and habitat for innumerable creatures.