A glorious chaotic monster of the South

  • Species: Chinese Banyan (ficus microcarpa)
  • Location: Pok Fu Lam Road, beside the sign marking the border to the South side

Most people just can’t accept chaos. All types of people, including illustrious personalities like Pythagoras, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and many more have spent their lives trying to find structure and meaning from the seemingly random things that make up the universe. What they came up with are pretty amazing of course – math, gravity, evolution, relativity, and many, many more explanations and ideas about life, the universe and everything else.

But sometimes, even those theories might not be sufficient to explain the chaos that nature can come up with. Despite how hard we try, sometimes, there might not be a pattern, or logic, or meaning to the results of nature’s vast palette and composition. There are some cases where chaos is simply chaos, and a mess is just a mess, but there’s no reason (yes pun intended) that it can’t be any less glorious than say, Douglas Adams, or Jackson Pollock, or this venerable ‘monster’ of a Chinese Banyan on the Southern border of Hong Kong Island on Pok Fu Lam Road.


This tree grows literally beside the sign that welcomes people to the South. Its roots seem to defy any law of nature and grow at random angles in every direction.


As you can tell, the entanglement of roots, spines and limbs has no obvious pattern, no clue as to its history. Suffice to say its fate had seen a few twist and turns, and it has fought a few battles to stay alive (possibly defending the South from development). The result is the current chaotic arrangement of roots and limbs as it reached out to seek nutrients and sunshine, which I think only adds to its character and form.

Let’s just hope it has an easier future in the coming years.


Categories:Chinese Banyan, Street trees, treelover, urbantrees, Urbantrees of Hong KongTags: , , , , , ,


humble student of the glory of trees

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