Why did Thomas Edison plant a banyan tree sapling at his winter residence in 1926? You guessed it, there was an experiment involved. Native to India, it is now a massive, beloved tree at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida. While this isn’t an “escape from the lab” story, it is sort of a “took over the lab” story! Debbie Hughes, the Horticultural Director, explains what happened. Also, we dig into the mythology of fig trees - specifically “strangler” figs - and their critical ecological and cultural importance with rainforest ecologist and author Mike Shanahan.
Horticultural Director, Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Author, Gods, Wasps, and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees
Tree Story Short
Diccon Lee, www.deeleetree.com
Dahn Hiuni, www.dahnhiuni.com/home
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This episode was written in part at LitArts RI, a community organization and co-working space that supports Rhode Island's creators.
10/01/22 • 46 min
This Old Tree - The Edison Banyan
Today is Saturday, October 1, 2022. Four days ago, a category four hurricane named Ian made nearly direct landfall on Fort Myers, Florida. It was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the state, and it caused major devastation and some loss of life. This episode of this old tree was scheduled to drop that same day and our subject, the Edison Banyan Tree, is in Fort Myers. Obviously, I couldn't release the episode without knowing the fat
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