It was all started with a little bird in that rainforest. The deposit of the bird droppings contained some undigested seeds from the giant strangler fig. It was a fig tree species Ficus watkinsiana that commonly grew in the rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales. One lucky little seed germinated on the rich composted leaf debris inside a trunk cavity of another forest tree.
Slowly the little strangler fig grew to gather strength. Once it was big enough to send aerial roots down the host tree-trunk and penetrated the ground to get nutrition, it grew rapidly. More and more roots grew from all direction and they tangled all around the host tree. The roots quickly thickened and started to look more like many tree trunks that oddly grew fused together. Meanwhile, its trunk and branches also grew up high reaching for the sun light. Finally they squeezed and choked the host tree to death. The poor tree’s roots dried up inside the ground, they could not compete against the strong strangler fig to get nutrition.
Many months and years had past, and the host tree had long lost all the foliage. The dried up trunk and branches started to crumble down, rotted away and eventually broke down to enrich forest floor. The strangler fig tree grew bigger and stronger. Its mighty trunk looked as if it was hollow inside. Few would ever thought that there was another tree trunk once grew there. It was one of many forest trees that become a victim of nature that sometimes so cruel and seems too unfair…..
Strangler Figs are also known to grow on old stone temple ruins in the forest. The roots also grow all around the walls to make a very bizzare look. The images above were taken by our son who just came back from holiday in Coffs Harbour, NSW.