In between slabs of concrete and electricity lines, this tree has grown a unique system of roots that has enabled it to thrive along one of Bangkok’s busiest roads. Like most city trees, it has to compete for space with the concrete jungle that we humans create around us. By letting its roots slowly zigzag around the circular pavement stones, this fig tree has developed a beautiful, almost mathematical pattern of roots.
For most tree species, more than a third of the tree can actually be found underneath the soil. The intricate root systems are vitally important by gathering water and nutrients and providing important support. While this tree only had a tiny surface area to grow on, it somehow has managed to survive and stay upright, perhaps partly by having its branches tangled with electricity lines.
I am not sure how much its roots trailing between the pavement stones are actually helping the tree in terms of nutrients or support. But hopefully it will stop passers-by in a moment of awe and thereby makes people aware of the space that plants and trees around us need to survive.