Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

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The Giant Cashew Tree Pirangi (Cajueiro de Pirangi), also known as the world's largest cashew tree, is a cashew tree that grows in the east of Brazil, on Pirangi Beach, near the city of Natal. Cashew Piranji looks like a whole grove and covers an area of ​​​​almost a hectare.

Instead of growing upwards, the branches of this tree grow laterally and curve downwards over time due to the weight. When the branches touch the ground, they begin to take root, and then begin to grow again, as if they were the trunks of another tree.

Interesting fact

In 1994, the Piranji cashew tree entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest cashew tree in the world.

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

wikimedia.org

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

wikimedia.org

The tree is said to have been planted in 1888. Cashew Piranji covers an area of ​​about 8500 square meters (0,85 hectares), the circumference of the tree, including all its branches, is 488 meters. Its size is equivalent to 70 ordinary cashew trees. It yields about 75000 cashew nuts annually, which is approximately 2,5 tons (read about cashew nuts in our article here ☛).

Today this tree serves as a tourist attraction. Paths for tourists are laid between the branches of the tree, and there is also an observation deck near the tree, which is very popular among tourists. From here you have a panoramic view of the cashew tree and the Praia de Piranji beach. Near the tree, traders have opened numerous tourist shops selling cashew nuts and other souvenirs. To see all this incredible spectacle, we picked up a couple of overview videos on YouTube, you will find them at the end of the article.

According to biologists, if the tree continues to grow unhindered, then it can grow to an area of ​​40,000 m². However, its growth has been limited to the surrounding streets for many years.

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

wikimedia.org

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

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The growth of the tree is explained by a combination of two genetic anomalies.

  • First, instead of growing up, as we said above, the branches of the tree for some reason grow to the sides. Over time, due to their own weight, the branches bend down until they reach the ground.
  • Then a second anomaly is observed: upon contact with the ground, the branches begin to take root, and then begin to grow again, as if they were the trunks of another tree.

Repeating this process gives the impression that there are several cashew trees, but there are actually two. The largest tree suffering from the aforementioned anomaly occupies approximately 95% of the park area; but there is another cashew tree planted a few years earlier that does not suffer from the anomaly.

The main trunk is divided into five branches: four of these branches have undergone a genetic change and formed roots and trunks, which led to the gigantism of the tree. Only one of the branches behaved normally and stopped growing when it reached the ground; locals nicknamed this branch "minimum pay". As a rule, cashew roots go into the ground for 1-2 meters, but can reach up to 10 meters in depth. The roots of the main stem go into the ground for about 20-25 meters.

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

shutterstock.com

 

Controversial Issues on Pruning Cashew Piranji

The local population has a controversial issue on pruning cashews, which is shared by public opinion.

There are those who are in favour, with the main argument that after the cut has been made, traffic on the Rota do Sol highway (one of the exits to the south coast) will be better, as the cashew tree encroaches on the road and creates traffic jams during rush hours. In addition, residents whose houses are located near the cashew tree fear that the tree will continue to grow towards their homes.

There are those who are "against", as they argue that if pruned, the cashew tree can behave unexpectedly and die, damaging both nature and tourism in the state.

Cashew of Pirangi: Grove Tree

wikimedia.org

 

Title dispute

Currently, the title of the largest cashew tree in the world is a controversial issue. This is because the inhabitants of the city of Cajueiro da Praia (located on the coast of the state of Piauí in the northeast of Brazil) claim that in fact it is the largest cashew tree that grows in them.

A study published by Piaui's Secretary of State for Tourism in February 2016 states that the cashew tree from Piaui is over 200 years old and has an area of ​​8810 m², an increase of 310 m² from Cashew Piranji.

The cashew tree from Piaui was studied in the laboratory of the State University of Piaui and currently claims the title of "largest cashew tree in the world", but it has not yet entered the Guinness Book of Records.

Piauí's Secretary of State for Tourism, Flavio Nogueira, says that the cashew tree from Piauí will receive this title, it's only a matter of time.

“Research needs to be done to find out if these branches belong to the same tree. The next step after proof will be federal disclosure of cashew nuts through this study. The Institute of National Artistic Heritage (Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional) must recognize this legacy of Piauí and then enter the measurements in the Book of Records,” said Flavio Nogueira.

The royal cashew tree of Piauí is protected by municipal law. Its fruits are used to make wine and juice, and the nuts are sold for roasting.

Even without proof that it is the largest cashew tree in the world, the Piauí tree is already hosting many tourists. You can see this huge tree right now, for this we also picked up a couple of video reports from Brazil (see below).

 

Cashew Piranji – the largest cashew tree in the world

To switch to full screen mode on a mobile device, press the panorama and hold for 2 seconds

To switch to full screen mode on a mobile device, press the panorama and hold for 2 seconds

 

Cashew from Piaui – a contender for the title of "the largest cashew tree in the world"

To switch to full screen mode on a mobile device, press the panorama and hold for 2 seconds

To switch to full screen mode on a mobile device, press the panorama and hold for 2 seconds