(Seasonal Highlights) Kam Tin Tree House

Kam Tin Tree House, is a peculiar sight in Hong Kong. Unlike the conventional understanding of a “tree house”, where a house of wood or bamboo is built on the branches of a tree, this “Tree House” shows how the aerial roots of Ficus microcarpa can indulge the surrounding built environment.

Since the last tenant of the house moved out, the Ficus microcarpa, commonly known as the Chinese Banyan, on the side slowly grow over the adjacent structure over time with its tree branches and aerial roots. Chinese Banyan is a common tree species in Hong Kong. It is usually used as a shade tree with its dense foliage and thrives in almost anywhere in the urban environment as it can grow in cracks, walls and other masonry elements.

Chinese Banyan is also one of the common species in Fung Shui Wood, providing food and shelter for the local birds and other creatures. Chinese Banyan shares a mutualistic relationship with fig wasps. Chinese Banyan must be pollinated by the fig wasps for fruiting, while the gall flowers of Chinese Banyan provide hosting places for fig wasps to spawn.