It’s a battle for survival. Bird v bird. Insect v insect. And tree v tree. Hiking in primary cloud forest, we spotted this great example of a strangler tree.
Most commonly figs, banyans or vines, strangler trees share a common enveloping growth patten.
After germinating in the crevices of a host tree, they grow downward roots and upward branches to reach above the forest canopy into the life-giving sunlight.
The original support tree often dies, leaving the strangler tree to continue growing with a hollow central core. Sometimes the strangler merges with the original tree to create a sort of conjoined hybrid.