Straight out of Fantasy: Tree Bridges

I came across this one new story on SmartPlanet about Bridges that are formed by tree roots. Apparently, the people of India (that live in these forests) have practiced this form of ”tree shaping” for quite awhile, around 500 years ago. They help guide the root growth of these trees by using branches to help urge the growth in a certain direction. Eventually, roots from opposing sides intertwine into strong cables that are able to support humans. The tree bridges are strong enough to withstand floods which is just another example of how nature (with a little help of humans) still is able to produce such marvelous creations.

It reminds me somewhat of those typical fantasy and science fiction stories and movies one sees around. There are always those nature-loving people, elves maybe, that create entire civilizations among the forest canopies. It certainly looked cool but it didn’t seem very feasible, but now there is a slight possibility of that coming true (now the question is whether or not someone would want to live in a tree-city). Sure, the process takes 10-15 years, but if someone could figure out a way to use faster-growing trees (that still are structurally sound), there might be some interesting structural avenues to explore in not only bridges but in buildings as well.

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