What is a Banyan Tree?

The  banyan tree is one of the giants among trees. Anything in nature that is a "giant" presents all kinds of problems, and trees are no exception. For example, a giant tree has the problem of drawing moisture from the roots to the top. The trunk of the tree must be strong. A tree cannot grow to tall and remain slender, or it would break.

So a giant tree must be wider at the base to support the load above it. And if the branches are large and heavy, they could pull down the trunk to one side or another. The banyan tree is a giant tree that has solved these problems in an interesting way. It is a tree of the mulberry family, and it is found in Eastern India and Malaysia.

The most unusual thing about the banyan tree is the way its branches grow. They spread out in all around the trunk. And even though the trunk Is huge , its cannot support these branches. So thick roots grow from the underside of the branches directly to the ground.

When these roots take hold, they provide support and nourishment for the tree. They also develop int new trunks. The result is that the banyan tree grow more in circumference than in height. Eventually,  "arcades" of these roots are formed, and a banyan tree may have a circumference that reaches 450 metres.

These arcades of roots are actually used as marketplaces by people who find it a perfect sheltered place to gather and do business. If that roots are cut, there are useful fo making tent poles and the fiber is used for making rope.

The banyan tree produces tiny figs. When they become ripe they are bright red and are eaten by birds and bats.   

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