This is one of my favorite trees in Costa Rica. It grows on the side of a trail that runs through the Santa Elena Reserve in Monteverde, a private forest preserve balancing on the edge of the Pacific and Atlantic slopes. When you encounter a tree like this one — with buttress roots as high as your waist and a trunk that you cannot get your arms around — you can’t help but wonder how long it has been in this spot, how it has seen the forest change, how long it might remain.