Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Lots of trunks?

This banyan tree actually has only one trunk. The others are all fakes. They are actually another type of aerial roots, which grow downward from its branches. As they thicken, these roots do the same work as a real trunk: supporting the weight of the tree's crown.

The world's largest banyan is in the Royal Botanical Garden in Kolkata. The Great Banyan, as it is known, has 1,775 "trunks" and is 412 metres around. That's the size of a football field. It is also said that Alexander the Great once rested an army of 7,000 men in the shade of a single banyan tree.

Videoclip Transcription

Photo of aerial roots of a fig tree