Strangler trees in the forest

Strangler trees in the forest

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.

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Whilst we are writing about trees….. we saw this “walking tree” in the Amazon Basin. If crowded out by another tree, it can move several metres each year by growing new roots and retracting/killing old ones; enabling it to move towards light
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