The Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being one of the best places to hear an early morning bird ‘singing’ in the Atherton Tablelands.
An Ancient Rainforest Giant
This magnificent specimen of Ficus virens is estimated to be about 500 years old and is one of the largest of its type in far North Queensland. There is a well maintained 100-meter walk through dense rainforest to the base of the tree where a thoughtfully constructed elevated boardwalk circumnavigates the trunk with widened areas that are most suitable to photograph this remarkable natural wonder.
These trees are commonly referred to as Strangler Figs because of the way they grow. Usually, a seed is deposited in the branches of another tree in bird droppings and as the tree begins to grow, it sends down roots to the ground. Once this important step is accomplished, the fig will grow vigorously, finally depriving the host tree of the elements required for it to continue to grow. By the time the host tree dies, the fig can support itself and grows independently. Although these figs kill their hosts, they are not a parasite but rather an epiphyte which basically feeds from the ground.
More information can be found at http://www.cairnsattractions.com.au/a_curtain-fig-tree.php
or have a look at the Perentie Tours home page