The Great Banyan Tree is over two hundred and fifty years old and covers about 14,500 square meters of land (3.5 acres) in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden near Kolkata (Calcutta), making it the widest tree in the world.
From a distance, the tree has the appearance of a forest, but what appear to be individual trees are actually aerial roots- around 3,600 of them.
After two cyclones in the 19th century that led to a fungal attack, the tree’s main 15.7-meter-wide (51-foot) trunk had to be removed. Fortunately, the “clonal colony” of tree itself remains healthy.
A 330-meter-long road was constructed around the tree so that visitors could drive around the circumference, but the Great Banyan continues to spread beyond, growing wider with each passing year. Currently it is already over 450-meters.
- Ten Thousand Trees: The Great Banyan Tree: http://ten-thousand-trees.blogspot.com/2008/02/great-banyan-tree-indian-botanic-garden.html
- Long Long Time Ago: The Great Banyan Tree: http://www.longlongtimeago.com/llta_rohini_blog_great_banyan_tree.html