Lei-covered fallen tree is tourist attraction in Olowalu

Pam and Beth Richards pose in front of the lei-draped roots of an Olowalu tree that tumbled into the ocean a few years ago and has become a tourist attraction. The mother and daughter duo from Springfield, Mo., were on their way to the airport and stopped to pay their respects by hanging lei as they had seen others do while driving by during their stay on Maui. “It’s our farewell to Maui,” Pam Richards said. Taking the photo is another visitor who draped a lei on the toppled tree, April Silber of Santa Cruz, Calif. The tree is one of many to fall along the eroding coastline, most likely victims to rising sea levels and tides. It sported one large lei for a long time and now bears hundreds.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos