- Specie: Chinese Banyan (ficus microcarpa)
- Old and Valuable tree: HYD CW/5
- Location: Caine Road minibus stop near Ladder St.
This member of Hong Kong’s registrar of Old and Valuable trees (HYD CW/5) offers a rare glimpse into two sides of the Chinese Banyan.
From street level, the tree displays the typical robust trunk of the species supporting a wide, graceful canopy. The personality is stern, even stately, despite the intricate system of interwoven roots that gives the specie its signature composition.
But if you head down the stairs of Ladder St and descend down Caine Lane, which runs parallel behind the tree, you get a completely different perspective of this tree.
Instead of the composed, structured form of its front, the rear of the tree shows its wild side. A number of aerial roots descend randomly from branches, like wax melting off a candelabrum. Gone is the civility of control and politeness, replaced by wild, uninhibited strokes of nature’s vast palette.