The World's Widest Tree

The Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden near Kolkata, India, is home to the Great Banyan Tree. You may know that banyan trees spread by growing branches down to the ground that tunnel into the earth and become roots, which in turn support more branches. This spreading habit makes the banyan look like a forest when it is one single tree. The Great Banyan covers an area of over 14,400 square meters -and it is still growing!

It's taken it over 250 years to reach this staggering stretch, and not without a few natural disasters that almost did in the whole giant arboreal wonder. In the 19th century, two cyclones hit the tree, breaking it open and exposing its main trunk which led to a damaging fungal attack. By 1925, the main trunk, which once measured over 50 feet wide, had to be removed. Yet as the sign at the tree states: "interestingly enough, the tree now lives in perfect vigor without its main trunk."

Read more about the Great Banyan and see more pictures at Atlas Obscura. Link

(Image credit: Biswarup Ganguly)


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Point of interest: My great-grandfather Dr. George Henderson was for a time the director (IIRC) of the Calcutta Botanical garden as it was then called - he may have been involved in the founding - and was instrumental in saving the tree, back in the early-mid 1800s.
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If it is no longer has its main trunk and is only a colony of its off shoots then is a still considered a single tree? If so, then it is no where near as large as the quaking Aspen known as Pando. That being said, it is a huge tree.
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