Statics: Span and Deflection

The Phenomenon of prop roots

Fig. 7-7: Prop roots

In rain forests, plants such as Ficus have prop roots. In the humid and shaded conditions, when the large branches reach a certain length, aerial roots grow downwards from the branches. When these aerial roots reach the ground they are similar to stems that support upper branches, forming the unique phenomenon of prop roots.

The prop roots provide the necessary and additional vertical supports to the branches of the tree allowing them to extend their spans further.