Tree breaks out of pot and into soil

This is a close-up of a small tree that has survived the disintegration of its styrofoam planter box and rooted itself into the ground. It is amazing that it was able to force its way through the pavement and reach the soil.

This potted tree breaking the pavement to root itself in the ground is almost the opposite of the cana flower spreading under and breaking the road to reach the air above. I find these images hopeful signs that no matter how much we pave over nature or confine it to a pot, plants are resilient, resourceful and able to confound our built environment.

By rooting itself in the ground below the street, the tree is able to draw more nourishment and grow larger. I wish that governments and residents would begin to de-pave Tokyo, and it’s great to see that domestic plants are not waiting for us to act.


  1. That’s impressive that the tree was able to break out like that and down the crack. I actually wouldn’t have thought that was possible without seeing the picture. How did the tree even know dirt/water was down there?

    1. Thank you, Gavin, for the comment. I am not sure “knowing” is the right word, but I have seen so many plants in Tokyo that have succeeded in breaking out of their pots and rooting themselves through the pavement. Mabe only a small crack in the pavement is needed for a root to enter, and over time grow in strength. Amazing!

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