Saturday, April 26, 2014

Banyan Tree


Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and their friend Harvey Firestone were searching for a good source of latex for rubber tires on the automobiles Ford was building.
They planted many exotic trees on the Edison and Ford winter estates in Fort Myers,
in search of the right latex extract.


This banyan tree is a variation of ficus, or fig tree.  It was planted next to Edison's laboratory in 1927.
When planted, it was 4 feet tall, 2 inches in diameter.  Today it occupies about an acre.
It is the largest banyan tree in the continental U.S.
But, it didn't produce industrial grade rubber.

17 comments:

Revrunner said...

I can just imagine Edison's wife asking him, "So, honey, what kind of tree have you planted today?"

Andy said...

Interesting and educational.

Luis Gomez said...

So cool to see all this.

Kate said...

Banyans are weird-looking and mesmerizing trees. Must be pretty fast-growing, also.

Sylvia K said...

I've always been fascinated by the banyans, but I've never seen one this size! Great post/photos as always, Jack! You do make good use of your camera time and I'm so glad you do!! Thanks for sharing! Enjoy your weekend, but stay out of trouble -- well, try to!!

Sharon Anck said...

What an amazing tree. I bet youngsters have a fun wandering and exploring around this tree.

RedPat said...

Wow - incredible tree, Jack!

Virginia said...

Third grade trivia from teaching the rainforest 19 times! These roots are called buttress roots.. I think.
V

William Kendall said...

It's surely massive, Jack!

Randy said...

Amazing trees.

Birdman said...

You've laid some rubber here, Jack.

Kay said...

That's one heck of a big tree! I've grown several indoor ficus trees. I'm glad I've never had that much success. (And I can see why they turned to them for latex. Even the little house versions have sap that could encourage a tire maker.)

jennyfreckles said...

It must have produced lots of banyans though... ;)

LOLfromPasa said...

Great top shot :).

PerthDailyPhoto said...

They really are amazing trees Jack.. Must say Mr Ford looks just a wee bit creepy there :)

SRQ said...

Largest in the U.S.? I didn't know that. The banyan trees here have grown on me (so to speak).

CaT said...

i like those trees. had never seen them before i went on roadtrips in the us.