Rainforest Tree Support
The tree in the rainforest are huge! They often look taller than they
are because they are thinner than trees we might see in cooler climates of the
same height. In the rainforests the trees must fight rapidly to get to the
canopy for the rare sunlight. They do this by supporting themselves with broad
bases rather than by growing wide. This tree has what are called "buttress
This tree is sending out "prop roots". Try standing up with your feet
close together and have a friend push you. Try it again with your feet far
apart. See how stable you are with your feet further apart? - that is just what
this tree is doing!
And trees such as this ficus with its thin trunk could get blown over
very easily without all of its prop roots.
© 2001 Stephen Blythe