Trees That Hug Themselves

21 Feb

The first time I rode down Basel Street near Hanassi in Herzliya Pituach I gasped. I’ll wager that’s the reaction the majority of people have when traveling down this street for the first time. The street is lined with statuesque ficus trees planted so close together they form a tunnel. An impressive array of ficus trees also lines several blocks of Hanassi.

These trees are ficus benghalensis or banyan trees. They produce aerial roots that reach to the ground and eventually become woody trunks that wrap themselves around the main trunk. The ficus benghalensis bears small figs that are inedible to humans but eaten by birds who then propagate the seeds.

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